Posted 04 February 2017 - 02:42 PM
Recent strategies for treating chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patients have focused on investigating new combinations of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) as well as identifying novel translational research agents that can eradicate CML leukemia-initiating cells (CML-LICs). However, little is known about the therapeutic benefits such CML-LIC targeting therapies might bring to CML patients. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of EW-7197, an orally bioavailable TGF-β signaling inhibitor which has recently been approved as an Investigational New Drug (NIH, USA), to suppress CML-LICs in vivo. Compared to TKI treatment alone, administration of TKI plus EW-7197 to CML-affected mice significantly delayed disease relapse and prolonged survival. Notably, the combined administration of EW-7197 plus TKI was effective in eliminating CML-LICs even if they expressed the TKI-resistant T315I mutant BCR-ABL1 oncogene. Collectively, these results indicate that EW-7197 may be a promising candidate for a new therapeutic that can greatly benefit CML patients by working in combination with TKIs to eradicate CML-LICs.