New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
September 10, 2011
New target for treatment of blood cancers

James E. Bradner, MD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ‘11-‘13) of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and colleagues, identified the protein Brd4 as a critical requirement for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) disease maintenance. Brd4 functions to control expression of Myc, a protein frequently disrupted in many cancers. Blocking Brd4, using either RNA interference or a drug called JQ1, led to anti-leukemic effects such as cancer cell death and a delay in disease progression. These findings were published in the journal Nature.  In a second paper published in the journal Cell, Bradner and colleagues reported the additional success of JQ1 in stopping the growth of multiple myeloma cells, which are dependent on Myc. These studies establish inhibition of Brd4 as a promising therapeutic strategy in multiple cancers.