Published: 20-03-2024 12:43 | Updated: 20-03-2024 12:44

New review on p53 biology and reactivation in blood cancers

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In a recently published review in the journal Biomarker Research, Joanna Zawacka, Docent at the department of Oncology-Pathology discusses our current understanding of p53 biology in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Portrait of Joanna Zawacka-Pankau.
Docent Joanna Zawacka. Photo: private

MDS and AML are cognate, clonal hematological neoplasms and have variable outcomes despite the recent, successful implementation of targeted therapies. 

However, the hope for the improved outcomes might be in the reactivation of the p53 protein, a key player in cancer suppression.

The p53 protein, is a tumor suppressor often inactivated in cancers by gene mutations or the inhibition by overexpressed MDM2 and MDM4(X). Pharmacological reactivation of wild-type p53 protein, or restoring the mutant version to its functional form, can significantly impede cancer progression. 

This review describes the clinical trials that are underway to test p53 reactivating drugs in MDS and AML patients and emphasizes the importance of further research to refine these therapeutic strategies. 


p53 biology and reactivation for improved therapy in MDS and AML”. Joanna E Zawacka. Biomarker Res 2024 Mar 13;12(1):34