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Karmanos Cancer Institute Researchers Study New Drug Combinations to Treat Childhood Leukemia
Date:4/21/2009

Abstract #4061

DENVER, April 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scientists from the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit presented data today at the American Association for Cancer Research's 100th Annual Meeting 2009 that could potentially provide a brighter future for children who suffer from a more deadly form of acute leukemia.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071106/KARMANOSLOGO)

Yubin Ge, Ph.D., and Chengzhi Xie, Ph.D., presented a poster at the conference revealing that a combination of FDA-approved drugs works synergistically to help children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Dr. Ge is an Assistant Professor at the Karmanos Cancer Institute and at the Wayne State University School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Xie is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Developmental Therapeutics Program at Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine. He also is a lecturer with the College of Life Science at Jilin University in Changchun, China.

AML, which originates in bone marrow, accounts for one-fourth of acute leukemia in children and is responsible for more than half of the leukemia deaths in this population. Approximately 600 children are diagnosed with AML each year, according to Dr. Ge and presently there is no effective drug treatment for those children should they relapse.

"Right now, we are at a bottleneck," Dr. Ge said. "We really want to find a better treatment for those relapsed cases."

Dr. Ge and fellow researchers considered drugs that are already FDA-approved to help fight AML. Resistance among patients to FDA-approved cytarabine is a major cause of treatment failure in AML. Scientists considered clofarabine, approved by the FDA in 2004, and paired it with valproic acid (VPA), typically us
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SOURCE Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
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