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Researchers from Pakistan and United Kingdom make blood cancer treatment discovery

21 October 2021
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Leukemia is one of the three major types of blood cancer. While most cases of leukemia, including a subtype of the disease, Philadelphia-positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Ph+ALL, are treatable, almost one-third of Ph+ALL patients have become impossible to treat. A recent study in the Neoplasia journal by faculty at the Aga Khan University’s Center for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) and Cardiff University has pinpointed a series of cascading chemical reactions or a signalling pathway that, when targeted, can kill, or suppress the growth of resistant leukemic cancerous cells.  “Our study detected a signalling pathway which is switched on and doesn’t switch off in treatment-resistant Philadelphia-positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Ph+ALL,” says Dr Afsar Mian, an assistant professor at CRM. “Blocking this pathway would prevent a protein from activating another protein thereby preventing the development of resistance in cancer cells and ultimately their growth and spread.”