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Key pathway implicated in progression of childhood cancer found

Scientists have found a protein crucial for the immune response that appears as a key player in the progression of a devastating form of childhood leukemia called T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL).

Suppressing the activity of the protein kills the leukemic cells, the study shows, opening a potential avenue to new drugs that could prevent progression of the disease.

Led by Iannis Aifantis of New York University and colleagues at the Institute Municipal d’Investigacions Mediques in Barcelona, the new study discovered the protein by picking up on a bit of cross-talk, or conversation, between two unrelated genes.

“We are very excited about this discovery because small molecule drugs that block this protein are already in development.

“We plan to continue to study these inhibitors in the laboratory with the aim of evaluating the feasibility of testing such drugs in patients,” said Aifantis.

Read more here: Key pathway implicated in progression of childhood cancer found – Sci/Tech – DNA.

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