January 28, 2019

Finding second hits to knock out leukemia

Leukemia cells undergoing drug screening (illustration). © Ella Marushchenko

Targeted drugs are a cornerstone of personalized medicine, yet come with important drawbacks. They restrain disease progression – but rarely eradicate the cancer. Patients therefore need to take the drugs essentially forever, exposing them to severe side effects and incurring high costs for the healthcare system. Combination therapies could potentially overcome these limitations. A study by scientists from CeMM, the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in collaboration with the Medical University of Vienna shows how epigenetic analysis and automated microscopy help prioritize new drug combinations for leukemia therapy. The results were published in Nature Chemical Biology(DOI: 10.1038/s41589-018-0205-2) on 28 January 2019.

The study “Combined chemosensitivity and chromatin profiling prioritizes drug combinations in CLL” was published in Nature Chemical Biology on 28 January 2019. DOI: 10.1038/s41589-018-0205-2 

Authors: Christian Schmidl*, Gregory I Vladimer*,  André F Rendeiro*, Susanne Schnabl*, Tea Pemovska, Christina Taubert, Thomas Krausgruber, Mohammad Araghi, Nikolaus Krall, Berend Snijder, Rainer Hubmann, Anna Ringler, Kathrin Runggatscher, Dita Demirtas, Oscar Lopez de la Fuente, Martin Hilgarth, Cathrin Skrab, Edit Porpaczy, Michaela Gruber, Gregor Hoermann, Stefan Kubicek, Philipp Staber, Medhat Shehata#, Giulio Superti-Furga#, Ulrich Jäger#, Christoph Bock#.
* Co-first author / These authors contributed equally to this work
# Co-last author / These authors jointly supervised this work

Funding: This study was supported by the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW), the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF), the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), “Initiative Krebsforschung” of the Medical University of Vienna, the Austrian Society of Hematology and Oncology, the Anniversary Fund of the Austrian National Bank (OeNB), and the European Research Council (ERC).