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Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Blog

FDA Approves Blincyto (blinatumomab) for Precursor B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

December 3, 2014 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Blincyto (blinatumomab) to treat patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-cell ALL), an uncommon form of ALL. Precursor B-cell ALL is a rapidly growing type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many B-cell lymphoblasts, an immature type of white blood cell. The Philadelphia chromosome is an abnormality that sometimes occurs in the bone marrow cells of leukemia patients. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 6,020 Americans will be diagnosed with ALL and 1,440 will die from the disease in 2014. Blincyto is an example of immunotherapy, a treatment that uses certain parts of a person’s immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. Blincyto is the first approved drug that engages the body’s T-cells, a type of white blood cell or lymphocyte, to des ... Read more

Related support groups: Leukemia, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

FDA Approves Blincyto (blinatumomab) for Precursor B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

December 3, 2014 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Blincyto (blinatumomab) to treat patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-cell ALL), an uncommon form of ALL. Precursor B-cell ALL is a rapidly growing type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many B-cell lymphoblasts, an immature type of white blood cell. The Philadelphia chromosome is an abnormality that sometimes occurs in the bone marrow cells of leukemia patients. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 6,020 Americans will be diagnosed with ALL and 1,440 will die from the disease in 2014. Blincyto is an example of immunotherapy, a treatment that uses certain parts of a person’s immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. Blincyto is the first approved drug that engages the body’s T-cells, a type of white blood cell or lymphocyte, to des ... Read more

Related support groups: Leukemia, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Obese Children With Leukemia Fared Worse in Study

Posted 27 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 27, 2014 – Obesity may change the way young people react to chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, new research suggests. The study showed that obesity made young people more than twice as likely to have leftover leukemia cells. That puts them at a higher risk of the cancer coming back and of death, the researchers said. The findings could explain why obese young people do worse on initial chemotherapy – called induction therapy – than their peers who aren't obese. "Induction chemotherapy provides a patient's best chance for remission or a cure," principal investigator Dr. Steven Mittelman, of The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, said in a hospital news release. "Our findings indicate that a patient's obesity negatively impacts the ability of chemotherapy to kill leukemia cells, reducing the odds of survival." However, the current ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Immune Therapy Induces Remission for Many With a Tough-to-Treat Blood Cancer

Posted 15 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 15, 2014 – An experimental immune-system therapy can often lead to complete remission in leukemia patients who have run out of other options, a new study confirms. Researchers found that 27 of 30 children and adults with advanced acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) went into full remission after receiving genetically tweaked versions of their own immune system cells. "Ninety percent of patients who had no options left went into complete remission. That's amazing," said senior researcher Dr. Stephan Grupp, of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. However, seven patients who went into remission did eventually suffer a relapse, according to the study. The findings, published Oct. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine, confirm what smaller studies have suggested: The therapy offers hope to people with ALL that has repeatedly eluded ... Read more

Related support groups: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

FDA Approves Purixan (mercaptopurine) Oral Suspension

Posted 29 Apr 2014 by Drugs.com

April 29, 2014 – On April 28, 2014, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration approved an oral suspension of mercaptopurine (Purixan, NOVA Laboratories Limited). Mercaptopurine is a 20 mg/ml oral suspension. Purixan is indicated for the treatment of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) as part of a combination regimen. Mercaptopurine is an integral component of ALL therapy. Successive clinical trials have demonstrated that mercaptopurine contributes to successful maintenance therapy and improved survival of patients with ALL. Mercaptopurine was originally approved as a 50 mg tablet in 1953, and since this approval has only been commercially available as a 50 mg tablet. Because of the age and weight range of children with ALL, a 50 mg tablet is not ideal. Body surface area dosing and dose adjustments are not easily accomplished with the 50 mg tablet. Tablets are not an ... Read more

Related support groups: Mercaptopurine, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Experimental Therapy Shows Promise Against Type of Adult Leukemia

Posted 19 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 19, 2014 – An experimental therapy that genetically tweaks the immune system may effectively treat a type of adult leukemia that often has a grim prognosis. Researchers found that of 16 patients with advanced B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), 88 percent went into remission after being treated with genetically altered versions of their own immune system cells. The findings, reported Feb. 19 in the journal Science Translational Medicine, extend research published last spring on the first five patients to receive the treatment. "First and foremost, we've shown that this isn't a fluke. This is a reliable result," said study senior author Dr. Renier Brentjens, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. There is still plenty of work to be done, he and other experts cautioned. The treatment, known as T-cell therapy, is not yet approved ... Read more

Related support groups: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Immune Therapy Shows Early Promise for Advanced Leukemia

Posted 20 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 20 – An experimental therapy that targets the immune system might offer a new way to treat an often deadly form of adult leukemia, a preliminary study suggests. The research involved only five adults with recurrent B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. ALL progresses quickly, and patients can die within weeks if untreated. The typical first treatment is three separate phases of chemotherapy drugs. For many patients, that beats back the cancer. But it often returns. At that point, the only hope for long-term survival is to have another round of chemo that wipes out the cancer, followed by a bone marrow transplant. But when the disease recurs, it is often resistant to many chemo drugs, explained Dr. Renier Brentjens, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. So, Brentjens and his colleagues ... Read more

Related support groups: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Gene Mutations Appear Key to Childhood Leukemia Risk, Study Says

Posted 19 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 19 – Children who inherit certain variations in four particular genes have an increased risk of developing childhood leukemia, a new study says. The researchers also found that Hispanic children are more likely than white or black children to inherit high-risk versions of two of the genes that can lead to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Rates of ALL are higher in Hispanic children than in white or black children, and these findings point to at least one reason for that difference, according to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital-led study. Children inherit two copies of each gene, one from each parent. That means that children could inherit up to eight high-risk versions of the four genes linked to an increased risk of ALL, the researchers said. Children with more than five copies of the risk genes were nine times more likely to develop ALL than those with no ... Read more

Related support groups: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Gleevec's Latest Approval is for Pediatric Cancer

Posted 25 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 25 – The anti-cancer drug Gleevec (imatinib) has received new U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to treat the most common type of pediatric cancer, affecting some 2,900 children each year, the agency said Friday. Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) progresses rapidly if left untreated. Gleevec, among a class of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors, blocks proteins that promote development of cancer cells, the FDA said in a news release. The most common side effects observed in pediatric testing included infection and a decrease in white blood cells and blood platelets. Gleevec was first approved in 2001 to treat a form of chronic myeloid leukemia, and has since been approved to treat several other conditions. The drug is marketed by Novartis, based in East Hanover, N.J. More information To learn more about Gleevec, visit the U.S. ... Read more

Related support groups: Gleevec, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Imatinib

FDA Approves Gleevec for Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Posted 25 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

January 25, 2013 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a new use of Gleevec (imatinib) to treat children newly diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). ALL is the most common type of pediatric cancer, affecting approximately 2,900 children annually, and progresses quickly if untreated. Children with Ph+ ALL have a genetic abnormality that causes proteins called tyrosine kinases to stimulate the bone marrow to make too many immature white blood cells. This leaves less room for healthy white blood cells needed to fight infection. Gleevec, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, blocks the proteins that promote the development of cancerous cells. It should be used in combination with chemotherapy to treat children with Ph+ ALL. “We are pleased that the number of cancer medications for children are on the rise,” said Richard Pazdur, ... Read more

Related support groups: Leukemia, Gleevec, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Imatinib

FDA Approves Iclusig to Treat Two Rare Types of Leukemia

Posted 17 Dec 2012 by Drugs.com

December 14, 2012 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Iclusig (ponatinib) to treat adults with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL), two rare blood and bone marrow diseases. Iclusig is being approved more than three months ahead of the product’s prescription user fee goal date of March 27, 2013, the date the agency was scheduled to complete review of the drug application. The FDA reviewed the Iclusig drug application under the agency’s priority review program, which provides for an expedited six-month review for drugs that may provide safe and effective therapy when no satisfactory alternative therapy exists, or offer significant improvement compared to marketed products. Iclusig blocks certain proteins that promote the development of cancerous cells. The drug is taken once a day to treat patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Leukemia, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Study Sees Link Between Prolonged Formula Feeding, Leukemia Risk

Posted 17 Oct 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17 – When the introduction to solid foods is delayed and babies are fed formula for a prolonged period of time, it may place them at increased risk for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a new study suggests. But the study, which is considered preliminary, only found an association between prolonged bottle feeding and ALL; it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, ALL is a fast-growing cancer of white blood cells called lymphocytes. It is also the most common acute childhood leukemia, typically affecting children between the ages of 3 and 7. In the new study, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin found that children's risk for this cancer seemed to increase the longer they were fed formula and not solid foods. They said the benefits that breast milk has on babies' developing immune ... Read more

Related support groups: Leukemia, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

FDA Approves Marqibo for Philadelphia Chromosome Negative Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Posted 9 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

August 9, 2012 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Marqibo (vincristine sulfate liposome injection) to treat adults with a rare type of leukemia called Philadelphia chromosome negative (Ph-) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). ALL is a rapidly progressing form of blood and bone marrow cancer that is more commonly diagnosed in children than adults. According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 6,050 men and women will be diagnosed with ALL and 1,440 will die from the disease this year. Marqibo is approved for patients whose leukemia has returned (relapsed) two or more times, or whose leukemia has progressed following two or more regimens of anti-leukemia therapy. Marqibo contains vincristine, a commonly used anti-cancer drug, encased within a liposome, a drug delivery vehicle composed of material similar to that of cell membranes. It is an injection ... Read more

Related support groups: Leukemia, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Vincristine

Marqibo Approved for Rare Leukemia

Posted 9 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 – Marqibo (vincristine sulfate liposome injection) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with a rare form of blood and bone marrow cancer, Philadelphia chromosome negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia, abbreviated ALL. The drug is sanctioned for people whose disease has progressed, despite use of at least two anti-leukemia regimens. ALL is most-often diagnosed in children. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 6,050 people will be diagnosed this year with the disease, and 1,440 will die from it, the FDA said Thursday in a news release. Marqibo was approved as an orphan drug, designed to treat a rare disease or condition. The drug was evaluated in a clinical trial of adults whose disease had relapsed at least twice, despite standard anti-leukemia treatments. The most common side effects reported were constipation, nausea, low ... Read more

Related support groups: Leukemia, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Vincristine

Leukemia Deadlier for Teens, Young Adults Than Younger Kids: Study

Posted 4 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, June 2 – Teenagers and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, are more likely to relapse and less likely to survive than younger children with the disease, according to a new study. "This study tells us that the inferior outcome for [adolescent and young adult] patients is the result of more resistant disease, resulting in higher rates of relapse and higher toxicity from treatment," the study's lead author, Dr. Eric Larsen, medical director of the Maine Children's Cancer Program, said in a news release from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In conducting the study, the researchers compared four different treatment regimens in a single cancer clinical trial. Of the nearly 2,600 patients involved in the trial, 20 percent were teens and young adults – more than 500 between 16 and 30 years old. The researchers found the ... Read more

Related support groups: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

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