A powerful new leukemia therapy?

Rita PWhile acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is one of the most common types of leukemia in adults, there is currently not a cure. That’s why researchers at the University of Minnesota are determined to develop therapies that work.

Rita Perlingeiro, Ph.D., part of the U’s medicine faculty, is one of these researchers and with Masonic support she has found a promising new way to attack AML.

Perlingeiro’s treatment uses a powerful antibody called TRC105 to target a protein called endoglin, which is present on most AML cells. After testing TRC105 in mice with human AML cells, her team found that the antibody not only delayed the onset of AML, but stopped its progression altogether in mice that already had the disease.

Their next big steps will be to determine precisely how TRC105 stops leukemia, to test how the antibody works in combination with other therapies, and to confirm its effectiveness in additional human AML samples.

“Making discoveries that may have an impact on treating devastating diseases has been my dream since I was about 10 years old. Without support from Minnesota Masonic Charities, we would not have been able to follow up on these important discoveries. I have profound gratitude for this support.”

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