This is a new approach and treatment was revealed in Nature Communications. The study was made against Acute myeloid leukaemia by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, University of Cambridge, University of Nottingham and their collaborators. Dr George Vassiliou, joint leader of the research from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, said: “We have discovered that inhibiting a key gene with a compound being developed for an eye condition can stop the growth of an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukaemia without harming healthy cells. This shows promise as a potential approach for treating this aggressive leukaemia in humans.
Professor David Bates, from the University of Nottingham and co-founder of biotech company Exonate, which develops eye drops for retinal diseases, said: “When Dr Vassiliou told me that SRPK1 was required for the survival of a form of AML, I immediately wanted to work with him to find out if our inhibitors could actually stop the leukaemia cells growing. The fact that the compound worked so effectively bodes well for its potential development as a new therapy for leukaemia. It will take some time, but there is real promise for a new treatment on the horizon for patients with this aggressive cancer.”