Published: 2021-07-20 14:58 | Updated: 2021-07-20 15:39

Research on drug repurposing for the improved therapy in TP53-mutated AML awarded

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Joanna Zawacka-Pankau, senior researcher at MedH and Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine (HERM) receives the Cathrine Everts Prize of 50.000 SEK for her research on drug repurposing for the improved therapy in TP53-mutated AML.

Joanna Zawacka-Pankau
Joanna Zawacka-Pankau at HERM, MedH Foto: N/A

Joanna Zawacka-Pankau, senior researcher at MedH and HERM in Julian Walfridssons research group, is awarded a prize sum of 50.000 SEK from the Cathrine Everts foundation for the study "Drug repurposing to reactivate p53 protein family for improved therapy in TP53-mutated acute myeloid leukemia (AML)".

"Our research has a unique potential to contribute to the development of new effective therapeutic strategies for tailored treatments of patients suffering from incurable blood cancer", says study’s Principal Investigator Joanna Zawacka-Pankau.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a blood cancer with poor outcomes where TP53-mutated AML shows a median overall survival of approximately six months. More personalized and selective treatment is needed to successfully cure AML. A large potential lies in drugs that target or modulate the functions of proteins critical for cancer survival. Yet, these treatments are at the early stage of development.

The goal of the study is to use already approved drugs to reactivate proteins belonging to the p53 family to effectively kill AML cells. In the study the efficacy and selectivity of these drugs in different types of cancer cell lines and patient samples is characterized. In this way, it's possible to obtain a comprehensive picture of the potential of these drugs, and since these drugs are already approved for the treatment of other diseases, they can be used quickly in clinical practice.