Stemness Inhibitor Tested in Rare Hematologic Cancer

Ariela Katz
Published: Thursday, May 17, 2018
Andrew A. Lane, MD, PhD

Andrew A. Lane, MD, PhD
SL-401, a novel therapy that targets a cancer stemness pathway, is being investigated in patients with blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) in a phase I/II trial that may pave the way for its approval for the rare and aggressive hematologic malignancy.

The drug is directed at the interleukin-3 (IL-3) receptor, which is overexpressed on cancer stem cells (CSCs) and/or tumor bulk in many hematologic malignancies, including BPDCN, acute myeloid leukemia (AML), multiple myeloma, and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).1

Researchers believe that CSCs, which make up about 1% to 5% of the tumor, promote the development of most of the carcinogenic cells in the tumor bulk.2

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