Research Provides Greater Understanding of Chemotherapy Combination for Aggressive B-cell Lymphoma

A combination therapeutic approach to aggressive B-cell lymphoma cell lines resulted in cancer cell death, according to scientists in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. The study was published in a recent issue of Oncoscience.

Senior author of the research, Leigh Ellis, PhD, says, “This experimental combination approach which successfully killed highly aggressive models of B-cell lymphoma is very exciting and we hope to translate these findings to clinical trials.”

Scientists, using human B-cell lymphoma models resistant to standard of care therapies, demonstrated that etoposide, a cytotoxic cancer drug, activated the p53 gene and resulted in stopping cancer cell growth but did not kill the cells. However, the chemotherapy agent when used in combination with an inhibitor of EZH2, an experimental drug known to regulate cell fate in response to DNA damage, does result in cell death in this aggressive type of lymphoma.

Researchers say the cytotoxic chemotherapy drug etoposide used in combination with the restoration of proper p53 function has potential as an attractive strategy for treatment of resistant B-cell lymphoma.

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Deborah Pettibone, Public Information Specialist