Pharmaceutical Combo Provides New Options for AML Cancer Therapy

By Hillary Eames
Monday, January 6, 2020

Researchers at Rice University have discovered what may become the most effective way to fight acute myeloid leukemia.

Combining anti-cancer drugs that affect the cells’ mitochondria with a glycolytic inhibitor has shown to be highly adept at killing leukemia cells while leaving healthy cells intact, according to a recent open access paper published in Cell Death & Disease. In collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, researchers at Rice University found that exposing leukemia cancer cell lines to low doses of mitocans combined with a glycolytic inhibitor killed a significant amount of cancer cells.

Advancements in Leukemia Treatment

The study showed a significant correlation between the cells’ ability to convert oxygen into ATP and their resistance to mitochondria-targeting cancer drugs. By combining them with ATP-producing glycolysis, the cocktail produces a synergistic effect: ATP production is blocked in the mitochondria, and mitocans are able to attack the cancer cells more effectively. The most successful test results showed that 86% of targeted leukemia cells were killed with the cocktail, suggesting new ways to individualize treatment for leukemia patients.