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Novel Therapeutic Strategy May Improve Treatment Efficacy Against Leukemia

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A study in Nature Biomedical Engineering reported that a combination therapeutic strategy including hematopoietic stem cells and platelets may strengthen the efficacy of treatments for leukemia and other diseases. The growth and recurrence of leukemia in mice significantly decreased among those treated with the combination therapy. Research of this cellular combination-mediated drug delivery strategy is ongoing.

“[The platelet] part of the cell combination is like a delivery truck,” Zhen Gu, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, explained in an institutional press release. “We can package medicines or immune system boosters on the cell surface of platelets and have them activated to unload once at the target site inside the body.”

The authors intravenously injected platelets decorated with anti–PD-1 antibodies in conjugation with hematopoietic stem cells to mice with leukemia. Following injection, the combination therapy traveled to the bone marrow of diseased mice and locally released anti–PD-1. Reportedly, this resulted in enhancing immune responses and increasing the number of active T cells, the production of cytokines and chemokines, and the survival time of the treated mice.

Of the mice that received the combination therapy, 87.5% no longer had leukemia 80 days after treatment injection. In fact, the disease-free mice all showed resistance to leukemia cells after being re-injected with leukemia 2 months after the 80-day period.

Disclosure: Study authors’ disclosure information may be found at Nature Biomedical Engineering.



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