New discoveries reveal how acute myeloid leukemia walks a fine line between growth and cell death

Researchers revealed new insights into how acute myeloid leukemia (AML) develops and progresses, according to a study published in Molecular Cell on July 20, 2021. They describe a mechanism by which AML cells regulate a cancer-related protein, mutant IDH2, to increase the buildup of blood cancer cells—a distinguishing characteristic of the disease.

MD Anderson Research Highlights for June 30, 2021

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Research Highlights provides a glimpse into recently published studies in basic, translational and clinical cancer research from MD Anderson experts. Current advances include expanded use of a targeted therapy for a new group of patients with leukemia, molecular studies yielding novel cancer therapeutic targets, insights into radiation therapy resistance and a community intervention to reduce cervical cancer rates.

Antiviral T cells safe and effective for treating debilitating complication common after stem cell transplants

A Phase II trial led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that BK virus (BKV)-specific T cells from healthy donors were safe and effective as an off-the-shelf therapy for BKV-associated hemorrhagic cystitis (BKV-HC), a painful complication common after allogeneic stem cell transplants for patients with leukemia or lymphoma. The study was published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

‘Information Theory’ Recruited to Help Scientists Find Cancer Genes

Using a widely known field of mathematics designed mainly to study how digital and other forms of information are measured, stored and shared, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine and Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have uncovered a likely key genetic culprit in the development of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Study finds risk of leukemia higher than expected in children with Down syndrome

The risk of childhood leukemia among kids with Down syndrome is higher than predicted, according to a new study led by UC Davis and UC San Francisco researchers. Early diagnosis remains critical.

Dr. Mohamad Cherry of Atlantic Health System Presents Studies at Top International Blood Cancer Meeting

Dr. Cherry focused on results from a Juno Therapeutics phase 2 study of liso-cel, an investigational CAR T therapy being tested against aggressive relapsed/refractory B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Early results indicate a good safety profile, with few adverse events reported. Dr. Cherry also presented on the final results of a phase 1 study of targeted therapy gilteritinib in newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Gilteritinib targets the most common mutation that causes AML, the FLT3 gene. Gilteritinib is sold under the brand name Xospata® by Astellas Pharma.

Researchers Discover Mechanism to Overcome Drug-Resistance in B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

In a new study led by Yale Cancer Center, researchers have discovered a novel metabolic gatekeeper mechanism for leukemia. This mechanism depends on a molecule called PON2, which could lead to a new treatment for the disease. The findings were published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists Recruit New Atomic Heavyweights in Targeted Fight Against Cancer

Researchers from Berkeley Lab and Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed new methods for the large-scale production, purification, and use of the radioisotope cerium-134, which could serve as a PET imaging radiotracer for a highly targeted cancer treatment known as alpha-particle therapy.

Dana-Farber to present more than 40 research studies at 2020 ASH Annual Meeting

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers will present more than 40 research studies at the virtual 62nd American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting on December 5-8, including two studies that were selected for inclusion in the official press program.

NUS researchers target ‘undercover’ gene that helps cancer cells proliferate

Researchers from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore at the National University of Singapore found that little-known genes called “onco-requisite factors” can enlist other genes to assist them in helping cancer cells proliferate. The gene produces an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase that recruits other enzymes to supply cancer cells with energy for growth. As such, depriving cells of aldehyde dehydrogenase may be a possible way to treat cancer.

Young survivors of acute myeloid leukemia have long-term complications from treatment

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients treated for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have a high risk of developing several long-term health complications after treatment, a study led by UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers has found. The most common complications were cardiovascular, endocrine and respiratory diseases. The complications – known as late effects – were more present among non-white AYA patients and those living in more deprived neighborhoods.

James K. McCloskey II, MD, Named Division Chief of the Division of Leukemia At Hackensack University Medical Center’s John Theurer Cancer Center

James K. McCloskey II, MD, was named division chief of the division of Leukemia at Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center, part of Hackensack University Medical Center (JTCC). Dr. McCloskey previously served as the interim chief for the Division of Leukemia and will continue in his role as director for the Program for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms at John Theurer Cancer Center.

Scientists kill cancer cells by “shutting the door” to the nucleus

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have shown that blocking the construction of nuclear pores complexes—large channels that control the flow of materials in and out of the cell nucleus—shrank aggressive tumors in mice while leaving healthy cells unharmed. The study, published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, reveals a new Achilles heel for cancer that may lead to better treatments for deadly tumors such as melanoma, leukemia and colorectal cancer.

New NCCN Resource for Understanding Childhood Leukemia

NCCN publishes a new patient and caregiver resource focused on a childhood cancer type. Free NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) shares the latest expert advice for treating infants, children, and adolescents with the most common pediatric malignancy.

MD Anderson and Astex Pharmaceuticals announce strategic collaboration to accelerate clinical evaluation of therapies for patients with leukemia

MD Anderson News Release September 08, 2020 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., based in Tokyo, Japan, today announce a  strategic collaboration agreement aimed at accelerating the clinical evaluation of Astex’s pipeline of products for patients with certain types of leukemia, including myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

New Insights Into Why People With Down Syndrome Are At Higher Risk For Leukemia

Scientists from Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago were the first to examine endothelial cells – one of the main sources of blood production – for clues as to why people with Down syndrome have higher prevalence of leukemia. They identified a new set of genes that are overexpressed in endothelial cells of patients with Down syndrome. This creates an environment conducive to leukemia, which is characterized by uncontrolled development and growth of blood cells. Their findings, published in the journal Oncotarget, point to new potential targets for treatment and possibly prevention of leukemia, in people with Down syndrome and in the general population.

$500,000 gift supports worldwide effort to harness pediatric cancer data to advance treatment for children

Family looks to the ‘bright side’ by creating a charity to support pediatric cancer research and providing UChicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital with $500,000 gift.

NCCN Meeting on Blood Cancers Will Be Virtual for the First Time

The NCCN Virtual Nursing Forum and Annual Congress: Hematologic Malignancies (#NCCNhem2020) will provide the latest evidence and expert consensus on emerging practices and debates in blood cancer treatment, online October 8-10.

Understanding ‘Chemo Brain’ in Children: Researchers Secure $4.6 Million NIH Grant to Identify Those at Risk

Chemotherapy usually cures children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but the treatment may hamper brain development and impact key cognitive functions including sensory processing, memory, and attention. Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM), and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey have received a five-year, $4.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine how chemotherapy exerts its damaging effects on the brain. Their long-term objective is to use this information to develop protective interventions that can prevent permanent harm.

Combination therapy well-tolerated and highly effective for patients with IDH1-mutated acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

A combination therapy of ivosenidib (IVO) plus venetoclax (VEN) with or without azacitidine (AZA) was found to be effective against a specific genetic subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in a Phase Ib/II trial led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The results of this trial may support a novel course of action for patients with AML harboring an IDH1 mutation who have historically had few treatment options.

New High-Throughput Method to Study Gene Splicing at an Unprecedented Scale Reveals New Details About the Process

Genes are like instructions, but with options for building more than one thing. Daniel Larson, senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute, studies this gene “splicing” process, which happens in normal cells and goes awry in blood cancers like leukemia.

CD19 CAR NK-cell therapy achieves 73% response rate in patients with leukemia and lymphoma

According to results from a Phase I/IIa trial at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, treatment with cord blood-derived chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) natural killer (NK)-cell therapy targeting CD19 resulted in clinical responses in a majority of patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), with no major toxicities observed.

Elevated Leukemia Incidence Is Found in World Trade Center Rescue and Recovery Workers

Responders who worked at the World Trade Center site after the attacks on September 11, 2001, have an increased overall cancer incidence compared to the general population, particularly in thyroid cancer, prostate cancer, and, for the first time ever reported, leukemia, according to a Mount Sinai study published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum in January.

ASH: Research revises classification of acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome

Results from a study conducted by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Munich Leukemia Laboratory were presented today as a late-breaking abstract at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting. The study integrates genomic and transcriptomic sequencing to provide the most detailed classification of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) to date.

New Mayo Clinic studies to be presented at American Society of Hematology meeting

Mayo Clinic researchers will present findings at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting Dec. 7–10 in Orlando.
New Mayo Clinic studies to be presented include:
DNA analysis identifies elevated risk factor for myeloma in individuals of African ancestry
Study identifies more precise assessment measures for patients newly diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Researchers develop method to assess cancer-fighting cell therapy’s effectiveness