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Arsenic-based therapy shown to help eradicate leukemia-initiating cells
Date:5/12/2008

ML by As2O3 successfully disrupted LICs, increasing the efficacy of the anti-cancer therapy by sensitizing the LICs to pro-apoptopic stimuli.

Its actually a very simple concept, says Pandolfi. Ninety percent of existing cancer treatments are antiproliferative agents they target the pool of proliferative cells, leaving behind the dormant LICs.

But in determining that PML serves to guard the LICs that have been left behind, we also discovered that if we knock out PML [through pharmacologic means], the LICs will lose their braking abilities and run out of gas, thereby commiting the fatal error of proliferation -- and exposing themselves to the deadly effects of cancer therapies.

Pandolfis laboratory is now trying to determine whether PML exerts a similar role in the stem cells of other tissues, as well as in the cancer initiating cells of solid tumors.

If this turn out to be the case, he adds, the transient use of As2O3 may represent a more global strategy to target CICs in other forms of cancer.


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Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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