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Studies of rare blood syndrome yield novel route to cancer

id Gilliland, a screen of the 96 known tyrosine kinases in the human genome could readily identify such deletions.

According to Gilliland, the new study also suggests that Gleevec may be inhibiting other tyrosine kinases in some HES patients. While most of the patients who were successfully treated did show the characteristic gene fusion, four did not. Tracking down the causative genetic abnormalities in these patients -- as well as in those with similar eosinophilic diseases -- could yield additional insights into the basis of Gleevec's effects, he said. Gilliland and his colleagues are now exploring other kinase-inhibiting drugs to anticipate the Gleevec resistance that the patients might well develop.

In addition to the treatment implications for HES patients, added Gilliland, the findings offer an unequivocal diagnostic test for the Gleevec-sensitive gene fusion.


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Contact: Jim Keeley
keeleyj@hhmi.org
301-215-8858
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
26-Mar-2003


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