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Throwing CML a PlGF block

Researchers at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology have shown that inhibiting PlGF helped treat chronic myelogenous leukemia in mice.1 The finding could open up a new indication for Roche's RG7344, an anti-PlGF mAb that originated from workat the institute and is in Phase I/II testing for solid tumors. Blocking PlGF also could increase the efficacy of existing CML treatments and help overcome resistance to Novartis AG'sGleevec imatinib.

In solid tumors, the rationale for inhibiting placental growth factor (PGF;PlGF) is clear: the cytokine is a VEGF receptor (VEGFR) ligand that contributes to pathogenic angiogenesis. Although hematological cancers are clearly a different animal, hints of PlGF's involvement in those malignancies emerged in 2006, when a group at thePortuguese Institute of Oncology found that PlGF stimulated

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