New gene discovery uncovers potential weakness in leukaemia cells

13 January 2016

Future treatments for leukaemia could target the weaknesses of cancer cells more effectively following a new genetic discovery.

Researchers based at King's College London, working with colleagues in the US and Hong Kong, have identified a pair of genes that play a key role in the development of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a severe form of the disease.

The genes, KDM4C and PRMT1, are believed to work together to change healthy blood cells into cancer cells. An experiment using mice showed that silencing either gene greatly increased the animals' chances of surviving the cancer for longer.

Moreover, blocking the activity of either gene with drugs also extended the mice's survival time, indicating that these genes could represent useful targets for the development of new therapies.

Professor Eric So, research leader at King's College London, said: "Further work is needed to develop and refine drugs to maximise their effects so that they are suitable for patients."

There are currently 2,800 UK patients diagnosed with AML each year, with aggressive chemotherapy being the most common treatment approach.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


Health News is provided by Axonn Media in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Axonn Media and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:

or

Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.

or

Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Categories

Cancer

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)