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A new combination of drugs proving effective in treating acute myeloid leukemia

A new study between the Sanford Burnham Prebis Institute for Medical Discovery and the University of Glasgow in Scotland revealed that scientists have found an effective drug combination against acute myeloid leukemia (AML) consisting of two drugs when combined, but their efficacy is only weak when each drug is used alone.

Researchers have been able to discover how dramatically cancer cells die by trying a combination of drugs that are only partially effective when used as monotherapy, according to MedicalXpress.

Said Peter Adams, a professor at the American Medical Research Institute at Sanford Burnham Prepps and lead author of the study. "The results were surprising because previous research had shown that each drug alone had a modest benefit against AML. The new research provides the scientific rationale for developing clinical studies of combining drugs against the disease."

He added that there are many types of acute myeloid blood patients, with different chromosomal changes, genetic mutations and genetic modifications, which makes it difficult for researchers to find new treatments that would work with a large proportion of patients, despite great progress being made towards finding effective treatments. In recent years, however, the overall long-term survival of five years for adults with acute myelogenous leukemia is still less than 30%, according to the American Cancer Society.

Notably, TP53, the most mutated gene in all human carcinomas, was found unchanged in approximately 90% of AML patients. Because the TP53 gene product, p53, works to suppress tumors, scientists have sought drugs that reactivate or enhance its anti-cancer capabilities in AML, which should provide clinical benefit. However, such drugs on their own were disappointing in acute myeloid blood.

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