Gene PPM1D Gives Stem Cells a 'Winning Boost' After Chemotherapy

IMAGE: This is Dr. Margaret A. Goodell, the corresponding author of this work. view more Credit: Baylor College of Medicine Chemotherapy has been associated with increased risk of leukemia years after the treatment, but what leads to that association is not clear. In this study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, a team led by researchers at...
Gene PPM1D gives stem cells a 'winning boost' after chemotherapy

IMAGE: This is Dr. Margaret A. Goodell, the corresponding author of this work. view more

Credit: Baylor College of Medicine

Chemotherapy has been associated with increased risk of leukemia years after the treatment, but what leads to that association is not clear. In this study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, a team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and MD Anderson Cancer Center combined clinical and laboratory studies to show that a gene called PPM1D, whose function in blood production was unknown, can confer blood cells exposed to the chemotherapy agent cisplatin a survival advantage that might favor the development of leukemia years later. The study suggests that the presence of this and other mutations should be considered when choosing chemotherapies.

The research team led by corresponding authors Dr. Margaret A. Goodell, director of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Center and professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, and Dr. Koichi Takahashi, assistant professor in the department of leukemia at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, initially found that PPM1D mutations turn up frequently in the blood of patients who get leukemia years after they first received chemotherapy for a previous

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