Currently, there are a number of potential treatment options for patients with multiple myeloma: immunomodulators, chemotherapy, HDAC inhibitors, steroids, and proteasome inhibitors. But according to Medical XPress, Peter Mac scientists have discovered an experimental therapy which shows immense benefits for multiple myeloma. In fact, the research found that multiple myeloma was incredibly sensitive to the treatment, which inhibits two enzymes called P300 and CBP. Discover the full preclinical findings published in Molecular Cell.
P300 and CBP
In an unrelated article published in Chemical Reviews, authors explain that:
Since their discovery in the 1980s and 1990s, the human protein lysine acetyltransferase encoded by the paralogous p300 and CBP genes has received much interest. p300/CBP functions in regulating the expression of genes controlling several basic cellular processes, such as proliferation and homeostasis, and plays a role in a variety of human diseases, particularly solid tumors.
These enzymes have also been linked to cellular and DNA repair, growth, and survival. While researchers have long believed that CBP and P300 played a role in cancerous cell growth, there was little research showing the correlation. Additionally, there are little – if any – therapies which inhibit P300/CBP.
When testing a series of P300/CBP inhibitors, researchers determined that multiple myeloma was extremely sensitive to this treatment. In fact, one of the authors describes the sensitivity as “more so than many other cancers,” offering a way to potentially fill an unmet need in this patient population. P300/CBP inhibitors turn off transcription factors and cancer-related genes to prevent tumors or cancerous cells from growing.
Although researchers believe that P300/CBP inhibitors have the potential to treat multiple myeloma, additional research is needed before the drugs can be tested on human patients.
Multiple Myeloma (MM)
Multiple myeloma is a rare cancer which develops in plasma cells, a type of white blood cell. Normally, plasma cells play an important role in the immune system; these cells create antibodies, fight infections, and promote healthy bone marrow. But in this cancer, the myeloma cells create abnormal M proteins (abnormal antibodies). As cancer cells accumulate, healthy cells are crowded out of the bone marrow. Soon, the bone marrow is full of abnormal myeloma cells and high M protein levels. Ultimately, doctors are unsure what causes multiple myeloma. However, complete or partial chromosome 13 defects have been linked to multiple myeloma cases. Typically, this cancer affects older individuals. Other risk factors include being male, being Black, being obese, or having a family history of cancer.
In early stages, patients may not display symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they include:
- Unintended weight loss
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
- Frequent infections
- Easy bruising and bleeding
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Appetite loss
- Bone pain, often in the chest and/or spine
- Mental confusion and/or fogginess
- Leg weakness or numbness
- Hypercalcemia (high calcium levels in blood serum)