Drug takes a shot at leukemia cells | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Drug takes a shot at leukemia cells

By
9:02pm, December 18, 2006

From Orlando, Fla., at a meeting of the American Society of Hematology

A drug that targets solid tumors such as those of lung cancer might also fight blood cancers, a lab study shows.

Erlotinib (Tarceva) attacks cells by blocking a receptor protein that's abundant on the surface of some cancer cells (SN: 8/27/05, p. 139: Available to subscribers at Targeted Attack). Bone marrow cells—the blood-forming cells that go awry in patients with leukemia and other blood cancers—typically don't display this receptor.

Nevertheless, physician Simone Boehrer of the Gustave-Roussy Institute in Villejuif, France, and her colleagues tested erlotinib in a lab dish on bone marrow cells taken from 10 patients with either acute myeloid leukemia or a precancerous blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome.

While cells from some patients were resistant to erlotinib, the drug killed up to 60 percent of cancerous cells extracted fr

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content