Novel Treatment for Mixed Lineage Leukemia in Babies Discovered
5-10 percent babies suffering from blood cancer have mixed lineage leukemia. Only 25-50 percent of these infants survive the disease. While the survival rate of other childhood leukemia is 90 percent, children with this cancer and above the age of one year have only 75 percent of survival rate.
Researchers from the Loyola University have developing a promising remedy for this aggressive form of blood cancer in babies. The results of their study were presented at the 2011 conference of the American Association for Cancer Research, Orlando.
The study found that inhibiting a protein DOT1 can successfully kill the malignant cells of this cancer. The cancer develops in the body when the MLL gene undergoes mutation. The protein produced by this gene works together with the DOT1 protein for the proliferation of the cancer cells. Blocking the latter can result in the death of MLL cancer cells.
Further efforts of the research are focused on searching molecules which can bind with DOT1 protein and deactivate them.