Changing Colors And Identities, Chameleon Cancers Evade Conventional Therapies
Due to the blood cancer's ability to adapt and avoid treatment, it is very challenging to cure. Scientists have found a way that Chameleon cancers evade conventional therapies. Children receiving treatment for blood cancer were studied by scientists from the Princess Maxima Center in the Netherlands and the Universities of Birmingham and Newcastle in the United Kingdom.Suleman ShahNov 02, 202229 Shares544 Views
Children receiving treatment for blood cancer were studied by scientists from the Princess Maxima Center in the Netherlands and the Universities of Birmingham and Newcastle in the United Kingdom.
In the past 50 years, there have been a lot of breakthroughs and discoveries in how to treat blood cancers. As a result, the blood disease acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children has a 90% cure rate.
Doctors have found that certain kinds of leukemia are resistant to therapywhile othersare not. The development of novel immunotherapies, such as cell-based treatments like CAR T cells, is ongoing for patients who do not react to current therapy choices.
If ALL the cells are able to switch identities, then they will be more resistant to treatment. Dr. Olaf Heidenreich, co-lead author and research group head at the Princess Maxima Center for pediatric oncology, said that their new study will allow doctors in the future to select out those children with leukemia who are in the greatest danger of their disease coming back. In the Netherlands, around 110 children are diagnosed with ALL per year.
Heidenreich said that it is "crucial" to figure out what makes people sick to know what causes this change. Leukemia is a type of blood cancer, and the goal of these studies is to find ways to halt it in its tracks by preventing the cancer cells from switching identities and reversing the effects of therapy.
Doctors have noticed, though, that some of these leukemias can avoid immune therapy by either stopping to make the cell surface proteins that these therapies target or by changing into a different type of cancer that these new medicines can't treat. This is especially confusing when it comes to leukemias that have changes to the MLL gene.
Research teams have found out one way that these chameleon tumors can change their outward appearance and take on new identities. They have looked into this switching of identities in MLL/AF4 fusion gene-driven leukemias and published their findings in the journal Blood.
ALL cells containing this chromosomal rearrangement have long been recognized to have the potential to recur as a separate kind of blood cancer, acute myeloid leukemia (AML).- Dr. Simon Bomken, MRC Clinician Scientist and Honorary Consultant at Newcastle University, said and co-lead author of the work
If the leukemia switches to this form, it is almost impossible to cure. The research on MLL and AF4 leukemias has shown that this transition may take place in different types of blood cells at various times throughout their development in the bone marrow. Moreover, the transition may come from genetic alterations brought on by the chemotherapy treatment. Because of this, certain leukemias are able to totally "re-program" themselves, changing their cell type identity.
The research group discovered that alterations to master control genes like CHD4, which are generally needed to turn off the genes crucial for the development of AML, may promote this re-programming.