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Finding New Purpose


A new study in Nature Medicine shows that the anti-depressant tranylcypromine — an MAO inhibitor sold commercially as Parnate — could be used as part of a combination therapy to treat acute myeloid leukemia, reports the PsychCentral blog. All-trans-retinoic acid is used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia, but hasn't been effective for the more common types of AML, an incongruity that puzzled the researchers. Now, the team says, the new study shows that the molecular pathway that all-trans-retinoic acid targets is dormant in AML cells, which means the drugs have no target to attack and therefore don't work, PsychCentral says. But the tranylcypromine switches this pathway back on, making the cancer cells susceptible to the cancer treatment.

The team has started a Phase II clinical trial of this drug combination in AML patients, the blog adds.

The Scan

Response Too Slow, Cautious

A new report criticizes the global response to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nature News reports.

Pushed a Bit Later

Novavax has pushed back its timeline for filing for authorization for its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to Bloomberg.

AMA Announces Anti-Racism Effort

The Associated Press reports that the American Medical Association has released a plan to address systemic racism in healthcare.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on miRMaster 2.0, MutationTaster2021, LipidSuite

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: tool to examine small non-coding RNAs, approach to predict ramifications of DNA variants, and more.