Two is better than one: Small molecule inhibitors work in synergy to kill resistance-prone FLT3-ITD+ subtype of acute myeloid leukemia.

The study “Efficacy and Synergy of Small Molecule Inhibitors Targeting FLT3-ITD+ Acute Myeloid Leukemia” was led by Anna Orlova and profited from collaborative efforts with the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Toronto Mississauga. We could contribute to AML research by proposing both new therapeutic options and a novel approach for future treatment:

  • The two compounds WS6 and ispinesib, which were previously not considered for AML treatment, were identified to be highly effective against the FLT3 mutated subtype of AML. 
  • The small molecule inhibitor WS6 demonstrated even stronger efficacy towards cancer cells than the approved FLT3 targeting drugs and was proposed to be a potent tyrosine kinase inhibitor.
  • Ispinesib, which targets all dividing cells, was shown to synergize with cabozantinib when cancer cells and patient samples were treated with both compounds combined. This means that they support each other by targeting distinct pathways in the cell and by this, cells cannot easily escape the treatment and the drugs can be applied in lower doses, which minimizes the side effects in patients. 
Kinase-focused drug screen to find alternative therapeutics for FLT3-ITD+ AML

Altogether, these insights introduce new therapy options, which could be more effective but less harmful for AML patients.

We thank all the collaborators that contributed to this study, especially the Vetmeduni Vienna and colleagues and friends from the Meduni Vienna and the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Link to the paper, published in Cancers.

Link to the article on our Vetmed Homepage.

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