William S. Blaner, Ph.D.

Columbia University, Institute of Human Nutrition
Complementary Approaches for Treating Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL): A Mouse ALL

The aim of this project is to develop and employ complimentary and alternative approaches for treating pediatric ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia patients). However, prior to testing such approaches in pediatric patients, potential therapies should be tested in animal models. In recent years, several good transgenic mouse models for ALL have been developed and used to study the biochemical and cellular processes responsible for ALL development and progression. For one of these mouse strains, the Em-ret mouse, Dr. Blaner proposes to establish the strain as a useful animal model for present and future studies of holistic therapies for potential use in pediatric patients with ALL. He further proposes to ask whether consumption of supplements of the antioxidants a-tochopherol (vitamin E) or coenzyme Q and/or the bioflavonoid present in green tea (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and/or the bioflavonoid slavopiridol, a flavoin that is derived from plants which are indigenous to India and which are widely used there in traditional medicine, prevent or slow the development and progression of ALL in the Em-ret mice. Since the pediatric ALL is responsive to contemporary chemotherapy regimens that employ drugs from the anthracycline family, it will also be tested whether supplemental consumption of these food substances can bring added benefit to the patient during the course of drug therapy. Specifically, the investigators hope to understand how the consumption of antioxidants and/or bioflavonoids can have a synergistic effect with the drug to block the development and progression of ALL and if consumption can lessen the side effects of the standard drug therapy.