Sunday, January 22, 2017

Possible Treatment Against Leukemia with Baker's Yeast Protein

As stated in the article, researchers have recently performed studies to test the effects of the enzyme, L-asparaginase, on acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells.  The protein is derived from what is known as Baker's or Brewer's yeast.  Tests were performed in vitro resulting in high numbers of apoptosis, or cell death, of the cancerous cells with low chances of damage to surrounding healthy cells.  Scientist observed in past studies that ALL cells need asparagine synthetase, an enzyme that is required for protein synthesis and cell division.  Given asparaginase, cells are depleted of that enzyme, therefore leading to apoptosis as noted in this study.  In the past decades, leukemia was treated  with similar enzymes that were instead derived from other organisms.  However, patients either did not respond that well or became resistant over time.  So the goal of this recent study was to derive that enzyme from a different organism to reduce those outcomes.

What is exciting about these results is that the from derived from yeast killed less of the healthy cells as opposed to the other forms used in previous treatments.  It is exciting to see what the future holds for studies to come for not only leukemia treatments, but for similar illnesses that can be treated with the same enzyme as well.


  1. Hi Amy! I love your enthusiasm about the outlook for the disease, and I welcome the research you put into your blog. If possible please upload a picture. Thanks!

  2. I'm excited to hear more about this as research continues. I know people who've undergone treatment for leukemia and they're never truly the same afterwards. Good to know the yeast protein didn't harm healthy cells.

  3. Very interesting! I wonder if bakers yeast is able to affect all types of cancer cells? That would be a better treatment than chemo and radiation in my opinion.