DENVER - Treatment with biphosphonates could prevent radiation-induced leukemia, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 100th Annual Meeting 2009.
Alexandra Miller, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, said her research is designed to help military and space agency personnel, who are more likely to be exposed to risky levels of radiation than the general population. However, she said the research could have applications for civilian populations as well.
"It is possible, although not yet proven, that the compound we studied could have a general effect on leukemia associated with causes other than radiation, such as age, which is much more common," said Miller.
The compounds Miller studied are biphosphonates known to scientists as ethane-1-hydroxy-1, 1-biphosphonate (EHBP) and carballylic amido bis phosphonic acid (CAPBP). Biphosphonates have emerged as an attractive chemopreventive agent due to earlier research that suggests they prevent bone metastasis and because they have an ability to remove uranium from the body.
For the current study, Miller and her colleagues irradiated laboratory mice at 3.5 Gy; all of the mice who were not treated with either EHBP or CAPBP developed leukemia.
By contrast, if they were treated with six doses of EHBP only 75 percent of mice developed leukemia. Similarly, only 65 percent of mice treated with CAPBP developed leukemia.
The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 28,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and nearly 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.