ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

Leukemia takes it up a NOTCH

August 19, 2010 7:00 AM UTC

The Notch pathway has been linked to aggressive growth in a range of tumor types but had not previously been considered a prime target for myeloid leukemia therapies. Separate American teams now have identified two targets in the pathway that promote highly aggressive hematopoietic stem cell growth and possibly progression of late-stage chronic myeloid leukemia into acute myeloid leukemia. The work opens new therapeutic areas to the companies targeting the pathway for solid tumors.

Cancer stem cells are self-renewing, undifferentiated cells that are thought to fuel tumor growth. Ordinarily, stem cells divide to produce a copy of the original cell plus a daughter cell with some degree of differentiation, but cancer stem cells can divide without undergoing differentiation...