UCI News

UCI biologists find potential new treatment for leukemia type

UC Irvine biologists have discovered a new way to combat a type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer that afflicts…

August 14, 2008

UC Irvine biologists have discovered a new way to combat a type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer that afflicts about 1,500 new patients in the U.S. each year. David Fruman (pictured), associate director of the Center for Immunology, working with Michael Lilly of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, found that leukemia cells die quickly when enzymes that promote cell division are blocked. The UCI scientists, along with graduate students Matthew Janes and Michael Kharas, found that a chemical compound called PI-103 inhibited both enzymes and killed mouse and human leukemia cells in laboratory experiments. Their findings will appear in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.