B cell receptor (BCR) signaling is important for B cell survival, but if the activity is too high or too low, the B cells die. In leukemia and lymphoma, mutations can help cancerous B cells maintain this BCR signaling activity at just the right level. While most current therapeutic approaches try to decrease this signaling, Dr. Muschen is taking the opposite approach and is trying to increase BCR signaling to eliminate cancer cells. He has already shown that small molecules that target the BCR pathway can do this in leukemia cells taken from patients. Now he’s seeing if these molecules can overcome drug resistance in mice and whether they complement CAR T cell immunotherapies against leukemia. Hopefully, this will help pave the way for improved strategies against these blood cancers.
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