There has been an aggressive search for effective interventions for treatment resistant leukemia. Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main reported on Nov. 28, 2014 a new substance overcomes treatment resistance in leukemia. This represents a significant breakthrough in the treatment of leukemia.
Hematologists from Goethe University Frankfurt who have been working with a Russian pharmaceutical company have developed a new active substance which has been found to effectively combat the most aggressive forms of Philadelphia chromosome positive leukemia. There has been a significant increase in chances of patients with Philadelphia chromosome positive leukemia (Ph+) being cured in recent years. However, many patients have developed resistance to medication which is available. The finding of a new substance which effectively fights Philadelphia chromosome positive leukemia is therefore important.
Patients who have the Philadelphia chromosome go on to develop chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) or acute lymphatic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). Due to the development of targeted molecular therapy these are the first types of leukemia that are able to be treated. However, after awhile this treatment has been observed to become ineffective for many patients. There has been only one substance, Ponatinib, which has been found to be able to overcome nearly all clinical resistance. However, Ponatinib can only be used with a great deal of caution because of some of its life-threatening side effects.
The Moscow based company Fusion Pharma has now developed an innovative kinase inhibitor known as PF-114 which has the goal of having the same effect on Ph+ leukemia as Ponatinib but with decreased side effects. The research team led by Dr. Afsar Mian, Professor Oliver Ottoman and lecturer Dr. Martin Ruthardt have reported their findings that PF-114 is as effective as Ponatinib against resistant Ph+ leukemia.
This study has been published in the journal Leukemia. Dr. Ruthardt says the results of this study provide the basis for the administration of PF-114 in treatment resistant patients who are suffering from Ph+ leukaemia. He says that now the favorable efficacy and good side effect profile of PF-114
need to be further tested on patients. Dr. Ruthardt commented that PF-114 would not have reached its present level of development without their colleagues in Frankfurt. Further clinical trials of PF-114 appear to be a worthwhile pursuit as research continues in the fight to win the war against leukemia.