Cardiovascular Drug May Offer New Treatment for Some Difficult Types of Leukemia, Indiana University School of Medicine Study  
9/14/2011 6:48:30 AM

A drug now prescribed for cardiovascular problems could become a new tool in physicians' arsenals to attack certain types of leukemia that so far have evaded effective treatments, researchers say. The drug, Fasudil, has been used to treat stroke patients because it is a vasodilator, meaning it dilates blood vessels. However, its potential in leukemia emerged because its method of action is blocking the activity of a protein called Rho kinase, or ROCK. ROCK, which plays a role in a variety of cellular activities, attracted the attention of the national research team led by Reuben Kapur, Ph.D., Frieda and Albrecht Kipp Professor of Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, as they were studying the effects of mutations in several other proteins that are associated with difficult-to-treat types of leukemia.