Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
The mechanism of senescence - or premature cell ageing - can have an anticancer effect.
This new work, conducted by Hugues de Thé and his team (Paris Diderot University/ Inserm/ CNRS/ AP-HP), was published in Nature Medicine. It reveals that targeted treatments for acute promyelocytic leukaemia, a rare form of blood cancer, cause a cascade of molecular events leading to cellular senescence and recovery. This action model could be activated in other types of cancers.
The PML/RARA* protein causes the proliferation of cancer cells in patients affected by acute promyelocytic leukaemia. Existing targeted treatments combining a hormone - retinoic acid - and a poison - arsenic - result in permanent recovery for the majority of patients, without us having a precise understanding of their action on cancer cells. Previous work by Prof Hugues de Thé's team has shown that the combination of arsenic and retinoic acid causes destruction of the PML/RARA protein and the elimination of leukaemic stem cells. It remained to understand the link between these two events.
This new research contributes the factors needed to understand the recovery. It demonstrates the unexpected involvement of a cascade of events leading to senescence. The aim of the treatment is to reach this final ageing stage of the cells in order to render them incapable of multiplying.
During this targeted treatment researchers showed that the p53** protein, arbiter between cell death and survival, triggers senescence through the involvement of PML nuclear bodies. These spherical structures are present in normal cells but are disorganised by PML/RARA in leukaemia. The treatment reorganises them (see figure below), activating p53 and triggering senescence. In this cascade of events (treatment, PML/RARA degradation, reformation of nuclear bodies, p53 activation), only one link has to be missing to block all the therapeutic effects.
It is this phenomenon that enables the elimination of diseased cells and leads to total recovery of the patient, using only combined retinoic acid/arsenic treatment. The absence of chemotherapy avoids many severe side effects.
This understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanism of recovery from acute promyelocytic leukaemia opens prospects for activating this same PML/p53 pathway in other types of cancers.
This work was financed by the French Ligue contre le cancer [cancer research charity], the French Fondation ARC pour la recherche sur le cancer [ARC Foundation for Cancer Research] and the European Research Council (ERC).
* Acute promyelocytic leukaemia is caused by the modification of two genes, RAR and PML, leading to the development of cancer cells;
** the gene coding for p53 protein plays an essential role in cell proliferation under normal conditions and in maintaining the integrity of the cell genome.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Lymphoma / Leukemia / Myeloma category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
de la re, INSERM (Institut national de la santé et. "Clarifying mode of action of a targeted treatment for leukemia." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 18 Jan. 2014. Web.
23 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271316>
de la re, I. (2014, January 18). "Clarifying mode of action of a targeted treatment for leukemia." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271316.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.