New Treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Cancer is considered to be one of the most deadly diseases all over the world.According to World Health Organisation, it is the second leading cause of death globally, and was responsible for 8.8 million deaths in 2015. Worldwide, nearly 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer like acute myeloid leukemia.Late-stage presentation and inaccessible diagnosis and treatment are pretty common. This disease involves abnormal growth of cells that have the potential to spread in different parts of the body and kill all the healthy cells.But now a group of researchers have found a compound that directly makes cancer cells commit suicide while sparing healthy cells.

The new treatment was directed against acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells but may also have potential for attacking other types of cancers.While talking about the research, Evripidis Gavathiotis, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and of medicine and senior author of the study, said, “We’re hopeful that the targeted compounds we’re developing will prove more effective than current anti-cancer therapies by directly causing cancer cells to self-destruct. Ideally, our compounds would be combined with other treatments to kill cancer cells faster and more efficiently — and with fewer adverse effects, which are an all-too-common problem with standard chemotherapies.”

This compound can be very useful for a country like USA, India, which are seeing a growth in Leukemia cases.Every year nearly 25,000 children are diagnosed with cancer and around 9000 of these have Leukemia.According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Cancer cases in India are expected to jump from around 14 lakh in 2016 to over 17.3 lakh by 2020.While deaths due to cancer are projected to go up from 7.36 lakh to over 8.8 lakh in the next four years.Talking about the research this compound combats cancer by triggering apoptosis, an important process that rids the body of unwanted or malfunctioning cells.

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