In 2001, drug imatinib promised a road to life for millions of leukemia patients. This drug promised a new lease of life for nearly 80% of the patients suffering from Leukemia, a type of cancer.
However, the solution was not a nail in the coffin for dangerous leukemia cells, unfortunately. The leukemia cells still remained in the body after the drug intake. In many cases, these came back to haunt the patients once the drug intake stopped. Hence, leukemia has been a challenge for healthcare professionals for ages.
A New Direction
A new research in mice promises to eliminate the cells of chronic myelogenous leukemia. This research by researchers at UCLA block a protein crucial to the growth of the said stem cells. The study published in the journal of Clinical Investigation, promises a boon for treatment of other cancers as well.
Dr. John Chute, the senior author of the study believes the research opens up new ways to look at treatments. According to him, the research will provide promising opportunities to eradicate CML stem cells with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor.
The researchers used anti-pleiotrophin antibody in mice, less than 1% mice experienced growth of cancerous cells. The antibody blocked pleiotrophin and isolated cancer cells. The antibody also deactivated the harmful cycle of triggering a known metabolism which keeps cancer cells alive.
Cancer Cases on the Rise
According to the Cancer.gov, various forms of cancers are on the rise. This includes leukemia, myeloma, melanoma, and others. Cancers affecting uterus, liver, breast, kidney, and oral cavity are also on the rise. Research like these show a promising way to overcome ultimate tragedies.
However, despite the positive outlook, preventing care still requires more awareness. Various lifestyle factors like consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, and fast-food diet is also associated with higher risks of cancers.
Rising awareness about cancer can also go a long way in preventing the spread of cancers.