Latest Issue of Science News


Drug takes a shot at leukemia cells

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.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.