The initiating mutations that contribute to cancer development are sometimes present in premalignant cells. Whether therapies targeting these mutations can eradicate premalignant cells is unclear. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an attractive system for investigating the effect of preventative treatment because this disease is often preceded by a premalignant state (clonal hematopoiesis or myelodysplastic syndrome). In Npm1c/Dnmt3a mutant knock-in mice, a model of AML development, leukemia is preceded by a period of extended myeloid progenitor cell proliferation and self-renewal. We found that this self-renewal can be reversed by oral administration of a small molecule (VTP-50469) that targets the MLL1-Menin chromatin complex. These preclinical results support the hypothesis that individuals at high risk of developing AML might benefit from targeted epigenetic therapy in a preventative setting.
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