New Publication: Recent advances in understanding spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) in human biology and disease, with a focus on fostamatinib

Posted in Cancer Cell Biology Program News

New Publication by Craig Kessler, et al.

Spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) is an important regulatory molecule of signal transduction pathways involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases such as immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), and the SYK-signaling pathway has emerged as a potential target for the treatment of numerous diseases. The aim of this narrative review is to summarize the biological properties of SYK and its involvement in disease pathways, provide an update on SYK inhibitors in the treatment of ITP, and consider other potential applications. Fostamatinib, the only licensed SYK inhibitor to date, produces clinical response in ITP patients, including those who are refractory to other treatments. It appears to reduce the risk of thrombotic events and may therefore be a drug to consider for patients with an increased thrombotic risk. Encouraging results have also been obtained in the treatment of warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Several other SYK inhibitors have entered clinical trials for a range of indications, reflecting the ability of these drugs to affect multiple signaling pathways. SYK inhibitors have the potential to target several aspects of COVID-19 pathogenesis including thrombosis, without affecting normal hemostasis, and data from the first study of fostamatinib in COVID-19 are encouraging. It is hoped that ongoing trials in autoimmune indications other than ITP, as well as in hematological malignancies and other disorders, confirm the promise of SYK inhibitors.