Cancer cells have an abnormal cell division and survival machinery — they grow faster than they die. For their permanent development, they produce an excess of growth factors and nutrients and block the body’s own safety mechanisms. To do so, cancer cells harbour mutations, which enable a continuous cellular growth. In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), an activating mutation in the FLT3 tyrosine kinase is the most frequent mutation found in patients. According to first author Iris Uras from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Vetmeduni Vienna, these cancer cells depend on FLT3 — is FLT3 blocked, cancer cells die.
This is a photograph of cancer cells before treatment.
Credit:Iris Uras/Vetmeduni Vienna