Skip to main content
Accessibility|Contact|Privacy|Terms|Cookies

New Targeted Therapy Finds and Eliminates Deadly Leukemia Stem Cells


  • Published: 2009-07-02 (Revised/Updated 2009-07-20) : Author: Cell Press
  • Synopsis: Molecular tool shows promise as therapeutic for human acute myeloid leukemia a notoriously treatment resistant blood cancer.

Main Document

New research describes a molecular tool that shows great promise as a therapeutic for human acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a notoriously treatment-resistant blood cancer.

New research describes a molecular tool that shows great promise as a therapeutic for human acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a notoriously treatment-resistant blood cancer.

The study, published by Cell Press in the July 2nd issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell, describes exciting preclinical studies in which a new therapeutic approach selectively attacks human cancer cells grown in the lab and in animal models of leukemia.

AML is a cancer of the white blood cells that has an extremely poor prognosis and does not respond well to conventional chemotherapy. "The cellular and molecular basis for this dismal picture is unclear," offers senior study author Associate Professor Richard Lock from the Children's Cancer Institute Australia and the University of New South Wales. "However, previous research has suggested that leukemia stem cells (LSCs) may lie at the heart of post-treatment relapse and chemo-resistance." LSCs are cells that can initiate AML and are critical for its long-term growth.

Associate Professor Lock and colleagues exploited the fact that the molecule CD123 is expressed at very high levels on LSCs but not on normal blood cells. CD123 is part of the interleukin-3 receptor, a protein that interacts with a growth factor (called a cytokine) that influences cell survival and proliferation. The researchers created a therapeutic antibody that recognized and bound to CD123 with the hope that this antibody would selectively interfere with AML-LSC survival.

When AML-LSCs from human patients were transplanted into mice treated with the antibody, called 7G3, cytokine signaling in the tumor cells was blocked. Further, 7G3 impaired migration of the AML-LSCs to bone marrow and activated the innate immune system of the host mouse to destroy the AML-LSCs. Overall, treatment with 7G3 substantially improved mouse survival when compared with control groups. The researchers go on to report that a CD123-targeting antibody is currently being used in phase 1 clinical trials of advanced AML and that there are no signs of treatment-related toxicity.

These results hold substantial promise for future cancer therapeutics. "The recent characterization of defined populations of cancer stem cells in a range of human malignancies, as well as their relative resistance to conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy, supports the broad applicability of our approach and provides rationale for the progression of AML-LSC-targeted therapeutics from preclinical evaluation to clinical trials," concludes Associate Professor Lock.

Reference: The researchers include Liqing Jin, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada; Erwin M. Lee, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Hayley S. Ramshaw, Center for Cancer Biology, Adelaide, Australia; Samantha J. Busfield, CSL Limited, Melbourne, Australia; Armando G. Peoppl, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada; Lucy Wilkinson, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia; Mark A. Guthridge, Center for Cancer Biology, Adelaide, Australia; Daniel Thomas, Center for Cancer Biology, Adelaide, Australia; Emma F. Barry, Center for Cancer Biology, Adelaide, Australia; Andrew Boyd, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia; David P. Gearing, CSL Limited, Melbourne, Australia; Gino Vairo, CSL Limited, Melbourne, Australia; Angel F. Lopez, Center for Cancer Biology, Adelaide, Australia; John E. Dick, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada; and Richard B. Lock, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Have Your Say! - Add your comment or discuss this article on our FaceBook Page.


Interesting Similar Topics
1 : Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML): Symptoms, Treatments & Medications : Thomas C. Weiss.
2 : A Pill for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Instead of Chemotherapy : Weill Cornell Medical College.
3 : Artificial Bone Marrow Developed by Researchers : Helmholtz Association.
4 : Leukemia Breakthrough May Pave the Way to New Treatments : Griffith University.
5 : Does Omega 3 Fish Oil Hold Key to Leukemia Cure : Penn State.
From our Leukemia section - Full List (22 Items)


Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





1 : Eating at Night, Sleeping By Day Alters Key Blood Proteins
2 : Interior Car Temperature Can Become Life-threatening for Children in an Hour
3 : 20 New Episodes of Letters to Lynette with Dr. Lynette Louise to Air on The Autism Channel in 2018
4 : Turnstone Center Designated as Official Paralympic Training Site by US Olympic Committee
5 : Help Your Child in School by Adding Language to The Math
6 : 50% of Retirees Saw Little or No COLA Increase in Net 2018 Social Security Benefits
7 : Turnstone Endeavor Games Concludes with National Records Broken
8 : Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself by Tsara Shelton


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™