Among types of cancer, leukemia is one of the deadly ones. It is still not totally understood by scientists, and its treatment can also be complex. It is totally dependent on the kind of leukemia the patient has, along with other variables. However, there are methods and resources available to enhance the treatment’s effectiveness.
Recent research has contributed to the treatment methods of leukemia. The study conducted by a team of Spanish and Israeli scientists from Barcelona, Spain, has reverted highly proliferative leukemia cells to normal harmless cells by changing the chemical modifications of their messenger RNAs, according to a new report published by The Jerusalem Post.
“We know that one strategy that human tumors have to dodge the effectiveness of drugs is to change their appearance, becoming another similar cancer but insensitive to the drug used,” the team said to the Jerusalem Post. “For example, leukemias of the lymphoid lineage are switched to the myeloid strain to escape treatment.”
Scientists worked on an in vitro model through which leukemia cells can be turned into harmless immune cells called macrophages. The change in the angle produced by two adjacent chemical bonds in these molecules leads the proteins that define leukemia to become unstable, enabling macrophages to appear.
“The first preclinical drugs against this target have already been developed in experimental models of malignant blood diseases, so we provide another reason why these novel drugs could be useful in cancer therapies, particularly in the case of leukemias and lymphomas,” said Dr. Manel Esteller, who is the head of the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute at the University of Barcelona.
It is yet to be tested on a patient. However, it seems quite promising. It can be expected that transforming leukemia cells into noncancerous ones will be the new method of medicine to defeat cancer.
The results of the study have been published in the journal Leukemia.