Temple scientists find drug resistant stem cells may be source of genetic chaos, DNA damage in leukemia
An international team of scientists, led by researchers from Temple University School of Medicine (home to the Fox Chase Cancer Center), has found that a source of mounting genomic chaos, or instability, common to chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) may lie in a pool of leukemia stem cells that are immune to treatment with potent targeted anticancer drugs. They have shown in mice with cancer that even after treatment with the highly effective imatinib (Gleevec), stem cells that become resistant to these drugs – tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) – may continue to foster DNA damage, potentially leading to disease relapse and a downward spiral to a much more deadly “blast” stage of leukemia.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.