Scientists Advance New Potential Drug To Address Prostate Cancer

Scientists Advance New Potential Drug To Address Prostate Cancer
shutterstock_143897611Scientists from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have investigated a new drug that showed the potential to address a rare kind of acute leukemia, revealing this molecule might also play a role in fighting prostate cancer. Tomasz Cierpicki and Jolanta Grembecka have been working together to identify a small-molecule inhibitor with the ability to block the interaction between menin and MLL fusion proteins. MLL fusion leukemia can occur in both children and adults and represents about 10 percent of acute leukemia in adults, and nearly 70 percent of acute leukemia in children. Currently available treatments are not effective, since only one-third of the patients survive more than 5 years. It is particularly difficult to advance drugs that address protein-protein interactions like the menin-MLL fusion protein, part of the reason why they are called "undruggable" targets. "In many types of cancer, you see multiple interactions and mutations that trigger the cancer. The MLL-menin interaction is a good drug target because it's the primary driver in this type of leukemia. By blocking this interaction, it's very likely to stop the cancer," explained Dr. Grembecka, a professor from the University of Michigan Medical School in a pres
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Isaura Santos graduated with a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a MA in Communication, Culture and Information Technologies from University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). Her professional interests include science communication, public awareness of science and communication of science through entertainment.

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