David Wald, MD, PhD
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
Dr. Wald is investigating modification of a natural plant-based compound as a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and colon cancer.
David Wald, MD, PhD, is Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio.
Dr. Wald’s laboratory is involved in elucidating novel therapeutic approaches to more specifically target acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and colon cancer to enhance efficacy and lessen the toxicities of AML therapy.
Dr. Wald and his team have identified a natural compound, securinine, as a leukemia differentiation-inducing agent. Securinine is a plant-derived alkaloid that has previously been used clinically as a therapeutic primarily for neurologic diseases.
Securinine’ s clinical potential for AML can be seen from its ability to induce significant growth arrest in cell lines and patient samples by inducing monocytic differentiation, as well as its activity in significantly impairing the growth of AML tumors in nude mice. Dr. Wald and his team have determined that securinine induces differentiation through the activation of DNA damage signaling.
In addition, securinine can synergize with currently employed agents such as ATRA and decitabine to induce differentiation. In colon cancer, securinine preferentially selects and induces apoptosis in p53-deficent colon cancer cells.
Dr. Wald earned his medical degree and a doctorate in Pathology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio. He completed a residency in Clinical Pathology and conducted postdoctoral research at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.