Drug shows promise against blood cancer

Researchers at Purdue University are trying to unlock the mystery of an aggressive blood cancer that kills 10,000 people a year.

The researchers, led by chemistry professor Herman O. Sintim, are developing a series of drug compounds they say have shown promise in treating acute myeloid leukemia.

About 30 percent of AML patients have a mutation caused by an enzyme called FLT3, which makes the leukemia more aggressive.

Purdue says the researchers have developed a series of compounds that work not only on AML with common FLT3 mutation, but also drug-resistant mutations, which some leukemia patients who relapse harbor.

The compounds, alkynyl aminoisoquinoline and alkynyl napthyridine, have been successful in preclinical studies, Sintim said.

“In mouse studies, almost no leukemia burden was visible after compound treatment for only a few weeks,” he said.•

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