New York University Langone Research Center physician John Iofantis found a link between t-cell acute lymhoblastic leukemia, and protein NF-κB. Several hundred children are affected annually by leukemia, which can be fatal within weeks. Dr. Iofantis says that the chemotherapy is not targeted and can come with serious side effects. The NYU team focused on genomic and animal studies, while a team at Institute Municipal d'Investigaciones Mediques tackled different facts of the disease.
The protein makes tumor cells live longer and become more resistant to treatment. When activation of the protein was targeted, tumor cells began to rapidly die. Dr. Iofantis is hopeful that new drugs to target the protein will be developed.