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A New Treatment Discovered For Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

A study undertaken by a group of Spanish scientists, amongst which were members of the University Clinic of the University of Navarra and the Centre for Applied Medical Research// (CIMA) of the same university has recently discovered a new line of treatment for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

The conclusions of the research have been published in the official journal, Blood, of the American Haematology Association.

It should be noted that acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common oncological disease amongst children. This is why the application of this discovery could be highly beneficial for a special group of patients with this disorder – those who show the cellular control pathway known as WNT as altered, - and whose prognosis of this tumour disease is serious.

The WNT pathway is the device that a normal cell needs to activate in order to initiate a process of cell growth and which, once realized, should deactivate itself.

However, it has been shown that, in those groups of acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients with the worst prognoses, this cell control pathway appears to be constantly activated. This phenomenon occurs because the mechanisms controlling this pathway have been silenced due to a process that affects gene transcription and known as metilation. The WNT pathway activated in an ongoing manner gives rise to the expression of specific genes whose function is to activate the growth of tumour cells.

Administration of New Medicinal Drugs
The study has shown, with in vitro trials, that administering a type of medication which impedes this process of metilation or which inactivates the WNT pathway, results in the normalisation of this cell control pathway and, so, impedes the development of tumour cells, inducing the death of the leukemia cells.

In this way, this group of medicines will help to enhance chemotherapy results and raise the rates of survival amongst the
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