AACR 2014


The AACR Annual Meeting 2014 took place April 5-9 in San Diego, California.


Resistant leukemias resemble breast cancer

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/23/14

Researcher in the lab
Photo by Bill Branson

One woman’s curiosity and self-described “aggressive” approach to research have led to some unexpected discoveries about acute leukemias. Isabel Cunningham, MD, of Columbia University in New York, New York, has found evidence to suggest that treatment resistance in leukemia patients may sometimes result from an interaction between leukemic cells and the breast. [Read Article]

Team identifies potential treatment for FLT3-ITD AML

Jane Rosen, PhD Read Article
Published: 04/22/14

DNA coiled around histones
Credit: Eric Smith

Researchers have presented evidence to support the use of a BET protein antagonist in FLT3-ITD-mutated acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The group’s experiments showed the antagonist, JQ1, was active against FLT3-ITD-expressing AML cells in vitro and in vivo. The agent also demonstrated synergy with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) AC220 and the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor panobinostat. [Read Article]

Molecule shows preclinical activity in leukemias, lymphomas

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 04/20/14

AML cells in the bone marrow

A small molecule that has previously proven effective against solid tumors exhibits activity against leukemias and lymphomas, preclinical research suggests. The molecule, LOR-253, showed antiproliferative activity in a range of leukemia and lymphoma cell lines, induced apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in vitro, and demonstrated synergy with chemotherapeutic agents. These results were presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014. [Read Article]

Compound targets mutated DLBCL, WM cells

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 04/18/14

Micrograph showing DLBCL

A Toll-like receptor (TLR) antagonist can target B-cell lymphoma cells harboring the MYD88 L265P mutation, preclinical research suggests. The compound, IMO-8400, decreased the viability of mutated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cells and Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM) cells in vitro. IMO-8400 also decreased tumor growth and prolonged survival in mice with MYD88 L265P-positive DLBCL. These results were presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014.  [Read Article]

Reovirus shows synergy with agents used to treat MM

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/17/14

Poster session at AACR 2014
Credit: AACR/Todd Buchanan

Reovirus can induce cell death in a range of multiple myeloma (MM) cell lines, and it is synergistic with drugs used to treat MM, according to research presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014. Six of the 7 MM cell lines tested were at least moderately sensitive to reovirus, and introducing the virus in combination with the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib or the Akt inhibitor perifosine increased antimyeloma activity. [Read Article]

Group describes mechanism of resistance in CLL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/16/14

AACR Annual Meeting 2014

Preclinical research has revealed a mechanism of rituximab resistance in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), as well as a possible new treatment approach. The study suggests the TNF-family member BAFF contributes to CLL cells’ resistance to direct and rituximab-induced natural killer (NK) cell reactivity. However, the BAFF-specific antibody belimumab can overcome this resistance and restore CLL cells’ sensitivity to chemotherapy. [Read Article]

Dual kinase inhibitor targets heterogeneity in AML

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/15/14

Lab mouse

A dual kinase inhibitor shows potential for treating the heterogeneous acute myeloid leukemia (AML) population, researchers say. The inhibitor, SEL24-B489, targets both PIM and FLT3 mutants. In experiments, it exhibited more consistent activity across AML cell lines than inhibitors directed only at PIM or FLT3. SEL24-B489 also demonstrated synergistic activity with cytarabine, both in AML cell lines and mouse models of the disease. [Read Article]

Heparanase regulates response to chemo in MM, team says

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/14/14

Attendees at AACR 2014
AACR/Todd Buchanan

Experiments conducted in the lab and the clinic suggest the enzyme heparanase enhances resistance to chemotherapy in multiple myeloma (MM). Researchers first found that heparanase expression is highly elevated in MM patients after chemotherapy. The team then used MM cell lines to investigate the mechanism behind this phenomenon. Their results indicate that, by inhibiting heparanase, we might be able to prevent or delay relapse in MM. [Read Article]

Molecule can increase Hb in anemic cancer patients

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/12/14

Red blood cells

Results of a pilot study suggest an experimental molecule can increase hemoglobin levels in patients with hematologic malignancies who are suffering from anemia. The molecule, lexaptepid pegol (NOX-H94), is a pegylated L-stereoisomer RNA aptamer that binds and neutralizes hepcidin. In this phase 2 study, 5 of 12 patients who received lexaptepid pegol experienced a hemoglobin increase of 1 g/dL or greater and qualified as responders. [Read Article]

Combo may overcome bortezomib resistance in MCL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/11/14

Poster session at AACR 2014
AACR/Todd Buchanan

Preclinical research suggests that combining a BET inhibitor with lenalidomide may overcome resistance to bortezomib in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Experiments in MCL cell lines and mouse models of the disease showed that lenalidomide alone is active in bortezomib-resistant cells and tumors. But the anticancer effects are more pronounced with the addition of the BET inhibitor CPI203. These results were presented in a poster at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014. [Read Article]

Hormone therapy may decrease risk of NHL

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 04/09/14

AACR Annual Meeting 2014

The use of hormone therapy may lower the risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in menopausal women, according to a presentation at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014. Researchers found that menopausal women who used hormone therapy were about 30% less likely than their untreated peers to develop NHL. And the risk of NHL decreased further if a woman began receiving hormone therapy at a younger age and used it for a longer period of time. [Read Article]

Good or bad, immune responses to cancer are similar

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 04/08/14

BALB/c mice
Credit: Aaron Logan

Researchers have found evidence to suggest there may be little difference between an immune response that kills cancer cells and one that stimulates tumor growth. The team set out to determine whether the immune responses that mediate cancer immunosurveillance and those responsible for inflammatory facilitation are qualitatively or quantitatively distinct. They tested antibodies in mouse models of a few different cancers, including rituximab in Burkitt lymphoma. [Read Article]

Enrollment stalled for CAR T-cell study

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/08/14

B-cell ALL

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has temporarily suspended enrollment in a study of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, due to 2 patient deaths. The study is an evaluation of CD19-targeted CAR T cells in patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Of the 22 patients enrolled on the study to date, 10 have died. But only 2 of these deaths gave researchers pause and made them question enrollment criteria. [Read Article]

How autophagy helps cancer cells evade death

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 04/07/14

Cells undergoing autophagy
Credit: Sarah Pfau

New research suggests that autophagy may allow cancer cells to recover and divide, rather than die, when faced with chemotherapy. “What we showed is that if this mechanism doesn’t work right—for example, if autophagy is too high or if the target regulated by autophagy isn’t around—cancer cells may be able to rescue themselves from death caused by chemotherapies,” said study author Andrew Thorburn, PhD, of the University of Colorado Denver. [Read Article]


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