Researchers identify death and survival pathways in leukemia cells
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is an incurable cancer that affects more than 16,000 Americans annually. A recent study by the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute investigated how an experimental drug called SMIP-016 kills CLL cells. A previous study showed that SMIP-016 targets a molecule called CD37, which is found on the surface of CLL cells. This new study further strengthens the results of the previous one with the discovery that SMIP-016 activates two regions of CD37 that concurrently activate two separate pathways in CLL cells, a cell-death pathway and a cell-survival pathway. Researchers suggest blocking the “survival” part of the molecule to optimize the effectiveness of SMIP-016.