Acute myeloid leukaemia - Leukos Biotech
Acute myeloid leukaemia
Acute myeloid leukaemia is the most common form of acute leukaemia. It accounts for 40% of all leukaemias in the Western world. It is calculated that, in Spain, there are 15 new cases per million per year.
Under normal conditions, the bone marrow produces cells called myeloblasts which, after maturing, become granulocytes, cells that protect the organism against infection. In acute myeloid leukaemia, these cells multiply abnormally, progressively invading the bone marrow and interfering with normal blood production.
Why do we need to investigate?
We need to continue investigating because of the 100% absence of response to treatment by patients.
Treatment for these diseases is based on intensive chemotherapy and so patients currently suffer significant secondary effects due to the high levels of toxicity involved. Many patients must then undergo a bone marrow transplant, which also presents important risks.
The impact of our work
Acute myeloid leukaemia is the first tumour in which a population of leukaemia stem cells was described. These are cells with the same properties as normal stem cells, so they have the capacity to reproduce malignant cells. For this reason, treatment must eradicate them so that the disease can be eliminated completely. We are trying drugs that have traditionally been used for the treatment of other diseases in an attempt to eliminate these malignant cells. We have discovered that there are some neurone receptors that might be very useful and we have patented the process to be followed to block the leukaemia cells.
The combination of these drugs with other chemotherapy drugs would increase patients' responses to treatment and reduce the levels of toxicity. The study has been patented under the name of Leukos Biotech and is a forerunner for a clinical trial to test this discovery in patients. Furthermore, one of the most promising aspects of this treatment is that it implies no toxicity for normal cells.
Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute Dossier
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