Navigation Links
Major Discovery Raises Prospect of Better Patient Care By Improving,Platelet Life Span

MELBOURNE, Australia, March 23, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists at WEHI have made a discovery with potentially profound implications for the care of patients, especially those undergoing cancer chemotherapy.

The research team led by Drs Benjamin Kile and David Huang has discovered that platelet life span is controlled by two key molecules. The discovery raises the prospect of developing a new drug to prolong the life span of platelets stored in blood banks, effectively increasing the availability of this life-saving blood product.

An undesirable side effect of cancer chemotherapy is extensive bruising and potentially life-threatening bleeding. This is caused by the unintended depletion of platelets, tiny circulating blood cells that are essential for blood clotting and wound healing. Consequently, the well being of some patients depends upon platelet transfusions, particularly during the vulnerable periods that follow anti-cancer treatment. The significant demand for high quality platelets, coupled with their short shelf life of only five days, presents major logistical challenges in clinical practice.

The scientific team has found that two specialised molecules act in opposition to each other to control platelet life span by regulating the process known as "apoptosis." This term refers to the normal and healthy self destruction of old, damaged and surplus cells. One protein (known as Bcl-xL) acts to preserve the life of the platelet, while the other protein (Bak) prepares the cell to self-destruct after its usual life span within the body - - about a week.

WEHI's Dr David Huang said, "Apoptosis is an essential process, common in other cells, but the central role it plays in controlling the life span of the highly specialised platelet has not been previously appreciated. With this new knowledge, we are in a much stronger position to devise better therapies for the management of plate let-related diseases."

Dr Kile added, "For fifty years doctors have speculated about what controls platelet life span. We now know the identity of the precise molecular switch responsible. The team is now actively pursuing a drug development program aimed at manipulating this switch in order to prolong the life span of blood bank platelets, increasing their availability to patients receiving cancer treatment and others in danger of serious bleeding".

At the opposite end of the scale, shortening platelet life span may be useful in the treatment of other diseases. For instance, too many platelets can trigger dangerous blood clots leading to strokes or heart attacks. Reducing platelet life span may therefore prove valuable in the prevention and management of these life-threatening conditions.

Refer to the illustration which can be viewed at http://www.asianetnews.net

The scientific research was generously funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC); the State Government of Victoria (DIIRD); the Australian Research Council (ARC); the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF); the Cancer Council of Victoria (CCV); the National Cancer Institute (US); the US-based Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (www.lls.org); and MuriGen Pty Ltd (www.murigen.com.au), a company based at the WEHI Biotechnology Centre in Bundoora, Victoria.

The scientific teams, headed by Dr Kile and Dr Huang and based at WEHI, include: Dr Kylie Mason, Dr Marina Carpinelli, Dr Jamie Fletcher, Dr Janelle Collinge, Ms Adrienne Hilton, Ms Sarah Ellis (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre), Ms Priscilla Kelly, Dr Paul Ekert (Children's Cancer Centre, Royal Children's Hospital), Professor Donald Metcalf and Dr Andrew Roberts.

The findings of the scientific team are published in the 23 March 2007 issue of the prestigious international journal, Cell.

    Dr Benjamin Kile and Dr David Huang are available for interview.


    Contact:

    Mr Brad Allan,

    WEHI Communications Manager

    Telephone: +61 3 9345 2345; mobile 0403036116.

    Email 

allan@wehi.edu.au

Eliza Hall Institute Of Medical Research (WEHI)

CONTACT: Mr Brad Allan, WEHI Communications Manager, +61 3 9345 2345, ormobile, 0403036116, or allan@wehi.edu.au

Web site: http://www.asianetnews.net/

Terms and conditions of use apply
Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire Association LLC. All rights reserved.
A United Business Media Company


'"/>




Related medicine technology :

1. International ENDORSE Study Shows That the Majority of Hospitalized Patients Surveyed are at Risk for VTE and Many do not Receive Recommended VTE prophylaxis
2. Major New Review Supports the Broader Potential of CeNeS COMT Inhibitor Discovery Programme
3. New Study Results Provide Additional Data about Short- and Long-Term Use of Desvenlafaxine Succinate in the Treatment of Adults with Major Depressive Disorder
4. Pooled Studies Showed Desvenlafaxine Succinate Significantly Improved Painful Symptoms and Anxious Symptoms Associated with Major Depressive Disorder in Adults, Compared With Placebo
5. Six-Week Investigational Study In Adults With Major Depressive Disorder Evaluates The Effectiveness of Adjunctive Aripiprazole Therapy With Antidepressants
6. Major Manufacturer of Unapproved and Adulterated Drugs
7. Exforge Helps Vast Majority of Patients Effectively Control Their Blood Pressure After Failing on Other Medicines, According to New Clinical Data
8. CuraGen and TopoTarget Announce New Clinical Results With Belinostat to be Reported at Upcoming Major Medical Meetings
9. Introgen Presents ADVEXIN Biomarker Data at Major Cancer Conference
10. Schering-Plough Addresses Major Milestones and Challenges in Treatment of Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C
11. New Clinical Data for Cytogens Quadramet and Prostacint to be Reported at Upcoming Major Medical Meetings
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)...  While Abbott,s announced purchase of St. Jude ... and stent business, healthcare research firm Kalorama Information ... into patient monitoring.  Kalorama said that patient monitoring ... with double-digit growth expected the next 5 years, ... Patient Monitoring . Abbott Laboratories agreed to ...
(Date:4/28/2016)...  The blood testing market in China ... Information and The Freedonia Group in a recent report.  ... The healthcare research firm said that China ... stations and in improving testing at the provincial level.  ... Blood Testing Market in China , which ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... JERUSALEM , April 28, 2016 ... ), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of ... participate in the upcoming PIONEERS 2016 conference, presented by ... 5, 2016 in New York . ... overview at the conference. Presentation Details:   ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Intellitec Solutions is ... of Microsoft Dynamics GP for one their long-term care clients. Working together with ... GP with key clinical management systems, and delivered a fully integrated accounting and ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... The number of chronically and seriously ill individuals is ... is an urgent need for highly skilled care managers and care coordinators. ... to train and retain care managers, and enhance their skills. , Care ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... The Dentists Insurance Company ... signed a letter of intent with Moda to acquire Dentists Benefits ... , Started by dentists 36 years ago, TDIC focuses exclusively on supporting the ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Head Over Heels Athletic Arts’ gymnast, Brooklyn Varize, ... will be held at the University of Montana on April 28-May 1. Varize will ... River. , In order to qualify, Varize needed to place top seven all-around in ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... for Tobacco-Free Kids, a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use ... local policies that can help reduce tobacco use. The initiative brings together two ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):