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Dr. Judith Powell

1135 Kildaire Farm Rd
Cary NC 27511
919 674-4782
Medical School: Other - Unknown
Accepts Medicare: No
Participates In eRX: No
Participates In PQRS: No
Participates In EHR: No
License #: 1502
NPI: 1073581211
Taxonomy Codes:
103TC0700X

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ATM germline heterozygosity does not play a role in chronic lymphocytic leukemia initiation but influences rapid disease progression through loss of the remaining ATM allele. - Haematologica
Ataxia telangiectasia patients, with constitutional bi-allelic ATM mutations, have a marked risk of lymphoid tumors and ATM mutation carriers have a smaller risk of cancer. Sporadic ATM mutations occur in 10-20% of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and are often associated with chromosome 11q deletions which cause loss of an ATM allele. The role of constitutional ATM mutations in the pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia is unknown. Here we investigated the frequency of constitutional ATM mutations in either of two chronic lymphocytic leukemia cohorts, those with and without a chromosome 11q deletion. We found that in comparison to controls, constitutional pathogenic ATM mutations were increased in patients with chromosome 11q deletions (6 of 140 vs. 0 of 281, P = 0.001) but not in those without 11q deletions (2 of 178 vs. 0 of 281, P = 0.15). These results suggest that ATM germline heterozygosity does not play a role in chronic lymphocytic leukemia initiation but rather influences rapid disease progression through ATM loss.
Stratification of pediatric ALL by in vitro cellular responses to DNA double-strand breaks provides insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying clinical response. - Blood
The molecular basis of different outcomes in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) remains poorly understood. We addressed the clinical significance and mechanisms behind in vitro cellular responses to ionizing radiation (IR)-induced DNA double-strand breaks in 74 pediatric patients with ALL. We found an apoptosis-resistant response in 36% of patients characterized by failure to cleave caspase-3, -7, -9, and PARP1 by 24 hours after IR and an apoptosis-sensitive response with the cleavage of the same substrates in the remaining 64% of leukemias. Resistance to IR in vitro was associated with poor early blast clearance at day 7 or 15 and persistent minimal residual disease (MRD) at day 28 of induction treatment. Global gene expression profiling revealed abnormal up-regulation of multiple prosurvival pathways in response to IR in apoptosis-resistant leukemias and differential posttranscriptional activation of the PI3-Akt pathway was observed in representative resistant cases. Importantly, pharmacologic inhibition of selected prosurvival pathways sensitized apoptosis-resistant ALL cells to IR in vitro. We suggest that abnormal prosurvival responses to DNA damage provide one of the mechanisms of primary resistance in ALL, and that they should be considered as therapeutic targets in children with aggressive disease.
South Asian chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients have more rapid disease progression in comparison to White patients. - British journal of haematology
Ethnicity has a major impact on the prevalence of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and may also influence disease phenotype. We compared the clinical features of Southern Asian and White CLL patients managed within one UK region. Asians required treatment almost twice as often as Whites (HR, 1.94) and had a shorter time to first treatment (P = 0.0063). This difference remained significant after adjusting for stage, lymphocyte doubling time and IGHV status (P = 0.026). CLL was diagnosed at younger ages in Asians and racial-specific variations in IGHV usage were demonstrated. Our findings indicate that Southern Asian race has a negative impact on CLL phenotype.
Mutation status of the residual ATM allele is an important determinant of the cellular response to chemotherapy and survival in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia containing an 11q deletion. - Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
The ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene is located on chromosome 11q and loss of this region is common in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Our aim was to determine if CLL tumors with a chromosome 11q deletion might be divided into two subgroups based on the status of the remaining ATM allele.The sequence of the residual ATM allele was determined in 72 CLLs with an 11q deletion. This was related to the cellular response to irradiation or cytotoxic drug exposure in vitro and clinical outcome.We show that the residual ATM allele is mutated in 36% of CLLs with an 11q deletion and that these leukemias demonstrate an impaired cellular response to irradiation or cytotoxic drug exposure in vitro. Inactivation of the second ATM allele was associated with a reduction in patient survival beyond that already dictated by the presence of an 11q deletion (P = .0283). Furthermore, we demonstrate that ATM mutations may arise during the evolution of an 11q deleted subclone and are associated with its expansion.CLL with 11q deletion can be divided into two subgroups based on the integrity of the residual ATM allele. Patients with complete loss of ATM function, due to biallelic ATM defects, have defective responses to cytotoxic chemotherapeutics in vitro and a poorer clinical outcome. ATM mutant subclones can develop during an individual's disease course and give rise to additional expansion of the 11q deleted subclone.
Mutations in the ATM gene lead to impaired overall and treatment-free survival that is independent of IGVH mutation status in patients with B-CLL. - Blood
The ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein is the principal activator of the p53 protein in the response to DNA double-strand breaks. Mutations in the ATM gene have been previously found in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemias (B-CLLs) but their clinical significance is unknown. We analyzed 155 CLL tumors and found 12% with ATM mutations and 4% with TP53 mutations; 2 tumors contained mutations in both genes. Retrospective analysis on selected samples indicated that the ATM mutations were usually present at diagnosis. Compared with patients with wild-type ATM/TP53 genes, patients with ATM mutations had statistically significantly reduced overall and treatment-free survival. Although present in both IGVH mutation subgroups, ATM mutations were associated with unmutated IGVH genes and they provided independent prognostic information on multivariate analysis. Mutations in the ATM gene resulted in impaired in vitro DNA damage responses. Tumors with ATM mutations only partially correlated with tumors with loss of an ATM allele through an 11q deletion and, interestingly, those 11q-deleted tumors with a second wild-type ATM allele had a preserved DNA damage response. The majority of patients with ATM mutations were refractory to DNA damaging chemotherapeutic drugs and as such might benefit from therapies that bypass the ATM/p53 pathway.
A novel CDK inhibitor, CYC202 (R-roscovitine), overcomes the defect in p53-dependent apoptosis in B-CLL by down-regulation of genes involved in transcription regulation and survival. - Blood
B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) is a clinically variable disease where mutations in DNA damage response genes ATM or TP53 affect the response to standard therapeutic agents. The in vitro cytotoxicity of a novel cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, CYC202, was evaluated in 26 B-CLLs, 11 with mutations in either the ATM or TP53 genes, and compared with that induced by ionizing radiation and fludarabine. CYC202 induced apoptosis within 24 hours of treatment in all 26 analyzed tumor samples independently of ATM and TP53 gene status, whereas 6 of 26 B-CLLs, mostly ATM mutant, showed marked in vitro resistance to fludarabine-induced apoptosis. Compared with B-CLLs, normal T and B lymphocytes treated with CYC202 displayed reduced and delayed apoptosis. Using global gene expression profiling, we found that CYC202 caused a significant down-regulation of genes involved in regulation of transcription, translation, survival, and DNA repair. Furthermore, induction of apoptosis by CYC202 was preceded by inhibition of RNA polymerase II phosphorylation, leading to down-regulation of several prosurvival proteins. We conclude that CYC202 is a potent inducer of apoptosis in B-CLL regardless of the functional status of the p53 pathway, and may be considered as a therapeutic agent to improve the outcome of resistant B-CLL tumors.

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