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Old Fri Dec 2, 2011, 06:23 AM
squirrellypoo squirrellypoo is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 458
Thumbs up Sussex Uni - research using Cyclosporin to target blood cancers

I saw this in an alumni newsletter (I studied abroad at Sussex for a year) and found it really interesting!

University of Sussex researchers announce pioneering cancer drug project

University of Sussex researchers have found tumour-killing properties in an existing drug commonly used to suppress the immune system - a discovery that could lead to a new treatment for blood cancer.

The research team, from the University's Genome Damage and Stability Centre, has been awarded 146,000 by the blood cancer charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research for the pioneering project.

Cyclosporin A (CsA) is an important drug that suppresses immunity in blood cancer patients to prevent the body from rejecting a bone marrow transplant.

Dr Mark O'Driscoll, who leads the team, discovered that the drug has some additional unexpected qualities - it can target and kill cancer cells in myeloma (cancer arising from blood plasma cells) and chronic myeloid leukaemia patients.

Dr O'Driscoll says: "CsA damages the DNA of cancer cells, but as yet we don't completely know how. Our initial research suggests that it only kills cells which have a specific problem in repairing damage to their DNA. We believe that this can be exploited because certain blood cancers possess a very similar DNA repair defect.

"We'll be testing CsA in the laboratory to see exactly how it targets blood cancer cells. With state of the art technology, we can actually visualise the DNA breakage within the cancer cells. If the results are positive, we would hope that CsA can be rapidly made available for patients with these difficult to treat cancers."

Dr David Grant, Scientific Director at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: "Myeloma, one of the targets for this drug, is currently incurable. CsA could selectively exploit its 'Achilles heel', which is its genetic make-up itself.

"The exciting aspect of this research is that if it is successful, CsA could be made available for patients on a clinical trial. It has already undergone detailed clinical evaluation and is widely used by the NHS, so we know that it is safe."
36/F - 1984 SAA treated with ATG [complete remission until] Oct 08 - burst blood vessels in eyes and low platelets; Jan 09 - AA & hypo-MDS; July 09 - BMT (RIC MUD PSCT) July 10 - 10k for Anthony Nolan (1yr post BMT! 53:48) Sep 10 - Wedding! I've run 5 marathons now!! (PB 3:30!)
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Old Fri Dec 2, 2011, 12:08 PM
Greg H Greg H is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 660
Hey Melissa!

This is really cool.

Thanks for posting it.

Take care!

Greg, 59, dx MDS RCMD Int-1 03/10, 8+ & Dup1(q21q31). NIH Campath 11/2010. Non-responder. Tiny telomeres. TERT mutation. Danazol at NIH 12/11. TX independent 7/12. Pancreatitis 4/15. 15% blasts 4/16. DX RAEB-2. Beginning Vidaza to prep for MUD STC. Check out my blog at www.greghankins.com
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Old Fri Dec 2, 2011, 10:23 PM
Lisa Z Lisa Z is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ft. Washington, PA (Philadelphia area)
Posts: 111
Very interesting, indeed!
Dx. 6/08 with AA, then changed shortly thereafter to MDS. Campath trial at NIH March '09 and have been transfussion independent since June '09
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