Draining the batteries: a novel approach to treatment strategies in CLL
Cancer cells, specifically chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells are charged with energy when compared to normal B-lymphocytes. We have identified that certain markers on the leukemia cells, such as one called ZAP 70, predicts which cells have higher energy levels. We do not, however, know what factors outside the cell or within the cells actually alter ZAP 70 to change the energy status of the cell. We believe learning this information is important for two main reasons: 1) It could be used to predict what doses of new drugs may best be used for patients to ensure they are working without side effects, and 2) Inform us how drugs should be combined together to avoid side effects while maximizing the effect of treatment. By determining how to best assess energy changes in cancer cells under certain conditions, we can best learn about how different drugs “drain the batteries” of the leukemia cells.