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Ulsan University Hospital professors find acute leukemia therapy candidate
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2018.08.23 15:09
  • Updated 2018.08.23 17:00
  • comments 0

Korean researchers have found a new drug candidate that maximizes the effect of killing acute leukemia cells when used in combination with other therapies.

The team led by Professors Jo Jae-cheol and Choi Yun-suk from Ulsan University Hospital have discovered "Rhein," a substance that is effective in treating acute leukemia while searching for various clinical and anti-cancer drug substances.

A research team, led by Professors Jo Jae-cheol (front row, center) and Choi Yun-suk (at Jo’s right facing camera) from Ulsan University Hospital, has discovered an acute leukemia therapy coined Rhein.

The research team found administering Rhein with acute promyelocytic leukemia therapy, ATRA (all-trans retinoic acid), suppressed the survival rate of acute leukemia cells and induced their deaths, resulting in an increased treatment effect.

The results of this study are likely to serve as the basis for developing an acute leukemia therapy, and be used as a drug development strategy for intractable blood cancers such as lymphoma and multiple myeloma, the hospital said.

"In the case of acute leukemia, a variety of new drugs have been discovered recently, clinical studies are in progress, and the survival rate of patients with acute leukemia will likely improve greatly," Professor Jo said. "This study holds great significance in identifying acute leukemia drug candidates."

Professor Choi also said, "Acute leukemia is a blood cancer that develops in the bone marrow and can be cured by chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Acute leukemia is highly responsive to anticancer drugs, which leads to complete remission of cancer in 70 to 80 percent of patients after one month of chemotherapy. To further improve the cure rate of leukemia, we will do our best to develop leukemia drug substance and to identify the mechanism of leukemia."

The study was published in the August issue of Phytomedicine (impact factor 3.610), a global medical journal.


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