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Research Snapshot: A better understanding of t-cell leukemia virus

The particles of the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), a human retrovirus closely related to HIV, are known to be non-infectious. They don’t cause much damage alone. But when those particles invade other cells, the virus becomes highly infectious, and can cause leukemia. About 5 percent of people with HTLV-1 will develop adult t-cell leukemia.

University of Minnesota researchers recently captured 3-D images of HTLV-1 through advanced electron imaging, a technology that enabled them to study the virus particles in more detail than ever before. Their finding, recently published in The Journal of Virology, could provide insight into why some particles are more infectious than others.

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In the News: Western scientists look to traditional Chinese medicine to treat cancer

Traditional Chinese plants and medicines might seem like an unusual way to treat a serious illness. However, these historic remedies have caught the eye of medical researchers. The latest research from Samuel Waxman, M.D., of Mount Sinai Hospital states that traditional Chinese medicine could be as advantageous to chemotherapy in the treatment of some forms of cancer including leukemia.

Arsenic trioxide, traditionally used in Chinese medicine, was approved as a treatment for leukemia in 2000 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Following this approval, research later proved that patients that were given chemotherapy followed by arsenic trioxide did better than the patients that received the standard chemotherapy alone.

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Research Snapshot: Seeking complete remission prior to allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation in patients battling AML

Allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation (allo-HCT) is one of the most advanced cell-based therapies available in the fight against complex conditions that can damage or disrupt bone marrow or immune system function.

The procedure, which involves a transplant of blood-forming stem cells from a donor with genetic similarities, provides patients a chance for remission in the fight against conditions like multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and several types of acute and chronic leukemias, to name a few.

The procedure also remains one of the most effective treatments for most patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

But what conditions should physicians see in their patients before employing allo-HCT?

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Masonic Cancer Center researchers identify genetic variation which may predict acute myeloid leukemia treatment success

Researchers from the College of Pharmacy and Medical School working within the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, have partnered to identify genetic variations that may help signal which acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients will benefit or not benefit from one of the newest antileukemic agents.

Their study is published today in Clinical Cancer Research.

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