Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Follicular Lymphoma's Regulator

This one seems like kind of a big deal.

Researchers at Weill Cornell were working on a new inhibitor that targets the EZH2 protein that they found to be present in a small number of lymphoma patients' cells. Developing an inhibitor, they figured, could help this small number of patients.

Well, it turns out that EZH2 isn't something that effects a tiny population. In fact, it effects Follicular Lymphoma patients, and some DLBCL patients -- perhaps a majority of patients with B-cell lymphomas.

So, yeah, kind of a big deal.

EZH2 is necessary for the body to develop a type of B-cell which, when it acts normally, helps fight invaders in the bloodstream. Its function is to allow the B-cells to keep dividing and attacking the attackers, basically letting them go nuts so the problem is solved. Normally, once the attacker is vanquished, the EZH2 goes away. Cancer, of course, occurs when cells stop shutting themselves off. So finding a way to control the EZH2 will mean being able to shut down the system,and get rid of the cancer.

The researchers have developed an inhibitor that will shut off the rogue EZH2. Even better, they think combining it with another inhibitor, one that targets BCL2, will make it even better. (No word on which BCL2 inhibitor they are using, but there are a few to choose from already in trials.)

You can read more details here, though there are a bunch of news reports online about this study. As I said, seems like kind of a big deal.

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