Washington: Researchers have offered a new hope for a new therapy for patients with certain types of lymphoma and leukemia.PCI-32765 is a new drug being assessed in a Phase I clinical trial at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center in collaboration with the Clinical Division of the Translational Genomics Research Institute.
Bruton-tyrosine-kinase, or Btk, is an enzyme needed to maintain B-lymphocytes function. B- lymphocytes are the cells that make antibodies for the immune system.Too little Btk causes a disease called Bruton`s agammaglobulinemia, in which the B-lymphocytes fail to mature and produce antibodies, leading to infections.Too much Btk is involved in constantly stimulating the proliferation and spread of lymphoma and leukemia cells.PCI-32765, produced by Pharmacyclics of Sunnyvale, Calif., inhibits Btk. Preclinical studies showed PCI-32765 arrested cancer cell growth and caused cancer cell death."This is the Yin and Yang of two diseases," said Dr. Tibes. In one there is not enough Btk; in the other, too much. "We are exploiting a natural occurring phenomenon, an enzyme that is turned around in cancer, and now we have a drug against it."Dr. Tibes, the principal investigator for the clinical trial, said PCI-32765 is at the frontier of research and offers a new therapy option for patients with advanced lymphomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. ANI
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