Leukemia drug found to stimulate immunity against many cancer types

A class of drug currently being used to treat leukemia has the unexpected side-effect of boosting immune responses against many different cancers, reports a new study. The drugs, called p110δ inhibitors, have shown such remarkable efficacy against certain leukemias in recent clinical trials that patients on the placebo were switched to the real drug. Until now, however, they have not been tested in other types of cancer.

"Our study shows that p110δ inhibitors have the potential to offer effective immunity to many types of cancer by unleashing the body's own immune response,"...

The team showed that inhibiting p110δ in mice significantly increased cancer survival rates across a broad range of tumor types, both solid and haematological cancers. For example, mice in which p110δ was blocked survived breast cancer for almost twice as long as mice with active p110δ. Their cancers also spread significantly less, with far fewer and smaller tumors developing. Survival after surgical removal of primary breast cancer tumors was also vastly improved, which has important clinical implications for stopping breast cancer from returning following surgery. The team's data further show that following p110δ inhibition, the immune system could develop an effective memory response to completely fight off the cancer.

"This provides a rationale for using these drugs against both solid and blood cancers, possibly alongside cancer vaccines, cell therapies and other treatments that further promote tumor-specific immune responses."

"If the findings hold true in cancer patients this could make a big difference to many of them. The good news is that because the drugs used in this study are already being used in the clinic, we could see rapid translation of this research into patient benefit." [emphasis mine]

Tags: cancer, p110δ inhibitors

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Replies to This Discussion

Such news is always so stimulating for us. 

Let's thank the medical research scientists for the good progress being made this way. 

P.S . I wonder what the ratio of atheists to theists is among these scientists, as compared with the ratio for the entire US population.

Terence, I suspect there are a lot more atheists among scientists in general.

Still, one can compartmentalize really well.  When I was in grad school, I knew a Lesbian couple who were both molecular biology graduate students.  They were also both evangelical christians.  Kind if a triple-way compartmentalization.  They were intelligent, very nice, sweet, and sincere in their christianity.

Just a gentle reminder - leukemia is spelled with an e.  I'm not a spelling activist, just noticed.

There are so many targeted therapies coming on.  The medication I take, Gleevec, is a targeted therapy, but for a different mutation.  I find it interesting that the same mutation in different cells can lead to such different cancers - a type of leukemia, vs a connective tissue sarcoma.  Mine would be an orphan disease if not for that coincidence.  I feel very fortunate.

It's not known yet, but it appears with my cancer that the mutation stops cell growth but doesn't kill them.  So they may be there for years, if not life.  They may also mutate again, forming resistance to the targeted medication.  That is an issue with recurrence.

Again, it's a genuine and somewhat disconcerting stroke of fortune to have this cancer now, and not 15 years ago when there was no treatment.  My cancer does not respond to chemo or radiation therapy.

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