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Development of new therapeutic treatments targeting cancer stem cells.

Project description

Neurotransmitters: new therapeutic targets of leukaemia?

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a haematological malignancy associated with a poor prognosis. With more than 60 % of patients failing to respond to therapy and relapsing, there is an imminent need for new treatments. The EU-funded StemTarget project aims to target leukaemic stem cells, a subpopulation of cancer cells responsible for disease maintenance, relapse and resistance to drugs. Scientists will test various antagonists of dopamine receptors and serotonin receptors which are believed to contribute to AML. The idea is to develop a novel approach that specifically eradicates leukaemic stem cells while maintaining normal haematopoiesis.

Objective

Acute myeloid leukemia is characterized by the accumulation of transformed immature myeloid cell in bone marrow. The course of the disease is marked by poor prognosis, frequent relapse, and high disease-related mortality. In spite of improvements in its therapy, above 60% of AML patients will eventually succumb to the disease, a fact stressing the need for new therapeutic approaches for remission induction and prevention of relapse. The difficulty in treating AML is thought to arise from a chemoresistant subpopulation of leukemia stem cells (LSCs) that are capable of maintaining and reinitiating the disease. Increasing evidences suggest that classic neurotransmitter receptors such as dopamine receptors (DRs) and serotonin receptors (HTRs) are involved in cancer genesis and maintenance. Indeed, DRs and HTRs are expressed on the surface of LSCs. By killing differentially LSCs while sparing healthy hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), DR/HTR antagonists could constitute a new therapeutic target for AML, especially for eradication of LSCs.

Coordinator

LEUKOS BIOTECH SL
Net EU contribution
€ 160 932,48
Address
CALLE MUNTANER 383 PLANTA 3 PUERTA 2
08021 Barcelona
Spain

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Links
Total cost
€ 160 932,48