Protein Inhibitor Clears Human Lymphoma From Mice in Just Five Days


Hopeful news came out of Weill Cornell Medical College about a drug that cleared human lymphoma from mice after just five days.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College are reporting on an experimental drug that completely eradicated human lymphoma from mice in less than one week. The next step is moving from preclinical trials to clinical trials – in this case against diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) – the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Their findings have been published online in the journal Cell Reports .

Examining the research

Researchers first described a powerful master regulatory transcription factor, known as Bcl6, and how it regulates the genome and makes it possible for aggressive lymphomas to survive. They then demonstrated the Bcl6 inhibitor, which is the experimental drug developed at Weill Cornell, and how it prevents the protein from having its effect.

The transcription factor Bcl6 is active in several cancers, but researchers have focused the inhibitor work on DLBCL. Senior investigator, Dr. Ari Melnick, Gebroe Family Professor of Hematology/Oncology and director of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical and Physical Sciences at Weill Cornell, explains why:

That's because we desperately need a new strategy to treat this lymphoma – many patients are resistant to currently available treatments.

Melnick's research

Melnick is the chief developer of the Bcl6 inhibitors, which he developed almost a decade ago. His work has also shown researchers can stump Bcl6 in DLBCL without causing severe side effects, in part by preserving T-cell function.

Melnick adds:

We now know the genes that Bcl6 is repressing and how that helps lymphoma develop and survive … This is wonderfully serendipitous – our drug just happens to be able to overcome both of the biological mechanisms that are key to survival of aggressive lymphoma.

No word yet on when recruiting might begin for a clinical trial.

Source: Science Codex

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