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New leukemia treatment offers promise for blood disease

Category: Leukemia and WBC disorders

Leukemia, is a cancer of the stem cells that results in abnormal white blood cells that do not die when they normally would and gradually crowd out normal blood cells in the body.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that there are 44,790 new cases of leukemia every year in the U.S. and approximately 21,870 die from it annually.

Early, less acute forms of the disease can often be difficult to detect without a leukemia blood test, as the abnormal cells still perform some of the work of normal cells. In acute leukemia, the damaged cells cannot perform anything white blood cells normally do in the body and proliferate much more quickly, making the disease much deadlier.

New research from Stanford University UC points to a promising new treatment, however. The cancer stem cells involved in acute myeloid leukemia have a protein on their surface that prevents the body's immune system from attacking them. The Stanford scientists have found that antibodies to this protein, called CD47, can be made and then used to direct the immune system cells to target the cancer cells they were unable to see before.ADNFCR-2248-ID-19286040-ADNFCR

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