AML Prognosis Linked to Activated Cell Signaling Pathways
A new prospective study involving 188 adult patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) has demonstrated what many researchers had suspected but not necessarily proven: In cancer cells, multiple intracellular signal transduction pathways that affect functions such as cell death and proliferation are simultaneously activated. Beyond that, however, was a more unexpected finding: The more of these pathways that are activated, the worse a patient's prognosis.
The findings, say the research team that conducted the study, strongly suggest that when one of these pathways is activated as a result of a genetic mutation or some other mechanism, other important signaling pathways that influence cancer cell development and proliferation - pathways that would typically be static or only mildly active in a normal bone marrow or white blood cell - also become activated, often referred to as "crosstalk."
One other finding, said the study's lead author, Dr. Steven M. Kornblau from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, further supports this contention. Read more
Guest Update by Dr. Anna Barker
The Biomarkers Consortium: A Unique Public-Private Partnership to Advance 21st Century Medicine
Last week marked the launch of an unprecedented public-private research partnership called the Biomarkers Consortium. This unique partnership will design and perform clinical studies to validate biological markers that are deemed to be of value in accelerating the development and regulatory review processes for new drugs, biologics, and technologies to treat, detect, and prevent a variety of diseases, including cancer.
The Consortium was created by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and several nonprofit organizations. In a rare move, an initial group of drug and biotech firms that are normally competitors have shown significant vision in donating funds and expertise to FNIH in support of this important initiative. Read more