St. Jude Unlocks Mystery of Very Aggressive Leukemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have used mouse models to determine why some forms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are extremely aggressive and resist a drug that is effective in treating a different type of leukemia.
The investigators found that the combination of a mutation called Bcr-Abl and the loss of both copies of the tumor suppressor gene Arf in bone marrow cells triggers an aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Inactivation of both Arf genes facilitated the multiplication of leukemic cells that did not respond to the drug imatinib (Gleevec