Researchers attempt novel blood cancer treatment approach

June 19, 2020

Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine are studying a treatment approach for a specific type of leukemia that has never before been attempted.

In an effort to improve the survival of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms, researchers inhibited a specific protein (alpha5beta1 integrin) to decrease the number of large bone marrow cells (megakaryocytes) in an experimental mode. According to the researchers, their ultimate objective is to find effective treatments for myelofibrosis, which can occur secondary to many diseases and is a terminal condition with no specific treatment available.

"To date, most drug development efforts have been focused on the JAK2V617F mutation, but this approach has failed to fundamentally change the course of disease. Our study has taken a totally new approach for treatment of the disease, which, if successful, will present a complementary or even an alternative therapy to existing treatments," explained lead author Shinobu Matsuura, DVM, PhD, instructor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

See the study