New delivery strategy may improve chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia


Many drug-resistant tumors have dysfunctional metabolism of ceramide, a metabolite that promotes cell death.

Investigators who previously demonstrated that augmenting ceramide can counter tumors’ drug resistance mechanisms have now shown that adding ceramide nanoliposomes can improve the efficacy of a standard chemotherapy regimen of venetoclax plus cytarabine in models of acute myeloid leukemia.

In their study published in The FASEB Journal, the researchers also uncovered several mechanisms behind these effects.

“Ceramide-based therapeutics had been a decades long passion for senior author Dr. Mark Kester, who sadly passed away this summer, and we will continue his legacy to assess the utility of the ceramide nanoliposome in the clinic. This publication is part of the basis for clinical trials testing the potential of the ceramide nanoliposome in acute myeloid leukemia, which are expected to begin in 2023,” said corresponding author Todd Fox, Ph.D., of the University of Virginia.