Researchers found a new drug combination for lymphoma and leukemia treatment. A study revealed that combining obinutuzumab with TLR7 activation can enhance survival of mice with blood cancer and effectively eliminate tumors. The researchers are now developing the treatment to suit human patients.
Leukemia and lymphoma are group of cancers which affect the blood, bone marrow, and lymphoid system. Leukemia is considered the most common type of cancer in children. It has recorded 352,000 new cases and 265,000 deaths worldwide in 2012. Meanwhile, lymphoma is the seventh most common form of cancer making up 3 to 4 percent of the worldwide population. It has recorded about 566,000 cases and 305,000 deaths in 2012.
In a study published in the journal, Leukemia, the researchers found a new drug combination which could possibly be used for new lymphoma and leukemia treatment. They found out that immune stimulation through a receptor called TLR7 in combination with obinutuzumab could enhance the clearance of blood cancer in mice. Obinutuzumab is considered a first-line treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia.
"We were excited when we discovered that combining obinutuzumab with TLR7 activation significantly enhanced survival of animals with lymphoma by effectively eradicating tumors," Professor Tim Illidge, lead researcher of the study said according to Medical Xpress. He added that it needs more work to use the new combination in humans but the results are very promising.
The researchers highlighted that the treatment can also prevent the tumors from coming back. They explained that drug can activate some immune system functions and examined ways to further improved the treatment. Dr Eleanor Cheadle, a researcher on the team revealed the CD8 killer T-cells has no major role in the new leukemia treatment. "Given the important role that killer T-cells can play in long term protection from tumour regrowth, we are looking at ways to enhance activation of these cells after obinutuzumab therapy," she said.