Nav: Home

Protein responsible for Leukemia's aggressiveness identified

April 27, 2018

(Boston)--Researchers have identified a protein critical for the aggressiveness of T-cell leukemia, a subtype of leukemia that afflicts children and adults.

The identification of ubiquitin-fusion degradation 1 (UFD1) allows for better understanding what causes leukemia to progress and become highly aggressive and treatment-resistant, and may lead to a new treatment for this type of cancer.

Leukemia is a blood cancer that affects individuals of all ages. T-cell is a particularly aggressive subtype of leukemia which is fatal in 20 percent of children and 50 percent of adults.

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) conducted combined analyses of patient samples and experimental models of leukemia that resemble a major subtype of the disease. They found that UFD1 is expressed in this aggressive subtype of leukemia, and reducing its protein levels by approximately 50 percent inhibited leukemia development and progression without impacting the overall health of the experimental models.

"Because of its discouraging odds, and because current treatments remain highly toxic to patients, continued research efforts are needed to understand what causes this disease's aggressiveness and its resistance to treatment, and to identify alternative treatments that are effective but minimally toxic," explained corresponding author Hui Feng, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and medicine at BUSM. "This research identifies the potential of targeting UFD1 to treat aggressive leukemia without causing high toxicity to normal tissues."

These findings appear in the journal Leukemia.
-end-
The research was led by Ms. Leah Huiting, a graduate student in Feng's laboratory, through collaboration of researchers at BU and the University of Massachusetts.

Funding for this study was provided by a grant from the American Cancer Society.

Boston University School of Medicine

Related Cancer Articles:

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.
More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.
New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.
More Cancer News and Cancer Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...