This finding, published in the prestigious scientific journal Blood Cancer, could help design new treatments based on immunotherapy.
The Genetics of Malignant Hemopathies research group at ibs.GRANADA has shown that certain variations in genes of the immune system influence the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia. These alterations appear to be responsible, at least in part, for promoting the release of immunological factors that facilitate the survival and growth of blood cancer cells.
Acute myeloid leukemia is a serious disease that causes precursor cells in the blood to disrupt their normal differentiation and growth. Some studies have suggested that the onset of leukemia can be triggered by the presence of multiple factors, including age, sex, lifestyle, exposure to certain chemical agents, or even suffering from certain congenital blood disorders. In addition, it has been discovered that the immune system of the individual plays a very relevant role in the development of the disease and in the prognosis of patients.
This group of researchers from the ibs.GRANADA, who belong to the Hematology Service of the Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital in Granada, led by Manuel Jurado Chacón, have shown that the presence of certain genetic variations in the IL8, IL13 and VEGFA genes influence the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia. While the effect of the variations in IL13 is mediated by the stimulation of immunological proteins that promote the growth of tumor cells, the effect of the variations in the IL8 gene is due to the fact that they induce the proliferation of cancer cells and even their resistance. to drugs.
This finding, published in the prestigious magazine Blood cancer, could help design new therapeutic strategies based on immunotherapy that improve survival and quality of life of patients.
With the aim of carrying out more ambitious studies, these researchers from Granada have launched the international NuCLEAR consortium which, to date, includes more than 1000 patients diagnosed with AML and 4000 healthy individuals recruited from 6 European countries. The main objective of this consortium is to develop massive genetic studies that cover the entire genome in large cohorts of patients and to determine the biological function of the genetic alterations considered of interest.
About the research group
The Malignant Hemopathy Genetics research group of the ibs.GRANADA, led by Manuel Jurado Chacón, is made up of researchers from the Hematology Service of the Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital and a Nicolás Monardes researcher assigned to the Service and who also belongs to the department of Medicine of the University of Granada. The activity carried out by this group is carried out in a coordinated manner between these centers and represents a basic-clinical research model, which has doctors and researchers with extensive experience.
The line of research in which the published work is framed is focused on determining the genetic bases of malignant hemopathies. However, this ibs.GRANADA research group also develops other lines of research that use mesenchymal stem cells to treat chronic GVHD in patients with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and study the genetic basis of fungal infections, a complication frequent clinic in oncohematological patients.