Although immune-based therapies emerge as promising to fight cancers, we will still rely on small molecules for most of the patients. Together with researchers at Clermont-Ferrand, we have investigated inhibitors of Pim-kinases to kill acute myeloid leukaemia cells. Of the molecules we tested, one was particularly promising, and proved efficient also towards leukaemia cells isolated from patients that had developed chemotherapy resistance. Why was our molecule so efficient? Probably because in addition to blocking Pim-kinase activity, it also inhibited other key signalling factors in the leukaemia cells. The work was recently published in Molecular Cancer Therapies.
The figure shows the different molecules tested, and VS-II-173 stands out being very efficient towards acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells, and not towards non-malignant cells. Green indicates low toxicity, red indicates high toxicity.