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Atlas Leukemia: Researchers are proteins that signal disease

April 18, 2019 11:26

Only about one in four people with a diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) survive five years after initial diagnosis. To improve the survival rate, researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the Cancer Center. MD Anderson at the University of Texas have created an online atlas for the identification and classification of protein signatures present in the diagnosis of AML.

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New classification of proteins will help researchers and doctors recommend the best treatment and personalized medicine for patients suffering from this aggressive cancer that occurs in the blood and bone marrow. Breakthrough research is published in the April issue of the last Nature Biomedical Engineering.

Researcher Amina Qutub, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Department of UTSA and oncologist Steven M. Kornblau, a professor and a practicing doctor in the department of leukemia at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center have identified a genetic, epigenetic and environmental diversity that occurs in cancer cells due to AML. Analyzing proteomic screens 205 biopsies of patients received in the Cancer Center. MD Anderson, first author Chenyue Wendy Hu, Kornblau and Qutub developed a new computational method called MetaGalaxy to classify protein signatures in 154 different patterns based on their cellular functions and pathways.

Approach to this problem through the prism of the development of quantitative maps for each patient with leukemia by expression of the protein in its blood and bone marrow, and not only with quality metrics and genetic risks, researchers will be able to more accurately classify patients into risk groups and better predict outcomes.

To better understand the distinctive features of AML at the level of proteomics (protein system) and share their work with other researchers, professor of biomedical engineering at UTSA and her team created a web portal, known as Atlas leukemic proteome. Create team Qutub and Kornblau involving clinical staff from around the world, on-line portal provides oncologists and scientists-oncologists the tools needed for the study of protein expression patterns in AML from one patient to another. It also provides researchers around the world informed about new studies of leukemia and new computational tools.

Since many genetic mutations can not be targeted, proteome profiling and identification of the target process used in this study, will accelerate the identification of therapeutic targets. It also encourages researchers much closer to developing a personalized combination therapy for patients based on their unique protein signatures.

"Acute myelogenous leukemia is presented as a cancer, so heterogeneous that it is often referred to not one but a set of diseases" - Qutub said. "To decipher the cells found in the blood proteins and bone marrow of patients with leukemia, we have developed a new computer analysis - MetaGalaxy, which identifies the molecular characteristics of leukemia. These symptoms are similar to that of the constellation guide to navigate the stars: they provide a map of the protein changes in leukemia. The next step - to move this work in the clinic and the impact on patient care.



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