Stem cell biomarker predicts leukemia patients’ response to chemo

Researchers at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have landed on a new biomarker that can predict if patients with acute myeloid leukemia will respond to standard treatment. It could help identify which patients would benefit by skipping regular chemo altogether and going straight to enrolling in clinical trials. The new biomarker, dubbed LSC17, is derived from leukemia stem cells. LSC17 could become a new “risk scoring” tool that can predict in a matter of days how a patient will respond to treatments, the researchers said in a statement. Clinicians may then direct patients who are less likely to respond to chemo toward clinical trials assessing new treatment strategies. Patients with high scores were more likely to have poor outcomes with standard treatment, while low scores predicted that patients would fare well with chemo and achieve long-term remissions.