T-Cell Leukemia

A potential new way of treating an aggressive leukemia

Dr. Jody Haigh, Senior Scientist at the Institute, and his research team have identified a novel combination therapy that holds great promise for treating an aggressive form of T-cell leukemia named ETP-ALL (Early T-cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia), which is typically quite aggressive, difficult to cure, and often relapses.

This novel combination therapy shifts the balance of survival factors toward cell death-inducing factors in cells otherwise resistant to epigenetic inhibitor therapies. The research demonstrates how previous resistance to therapy treatments occurs and how a more effective combination of therapies may improve the outcome for patients with this aggressive form of leukemia.

The discovery follows the research team’s previous research that discovered the specific pathways and factors that contribute to ETP-ALL being difficult to treat.

This preclinical breakthrough has the significant potential to influence future clinical trials. All the drugs used in this study are Health Canada and FDA-approved and are presently in various clinical trials as monotherapies for other forms of leukemia.

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