Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Aggressive Therapy Best For Certain AML Patients

Date:
August 2, 2007
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
A new study suggests that acute leukemia patients whose cancer cells show a genetic change that usually predicts a swift return of the disease following remission may remain disease-free longer when given aggressive therapy. The findings apply to people with acute myeloid leukemia whose cancer cells have normal-looking chromosomes and a gene mutation called MLL-PTD.

A new study suggests that acute leukemia patients whose cancer cells show a genetic change that usually predicts a swift return of the disease following remission may remain disease-free longer when given aggressive therapy.

The findings apply to people with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) whose cancer cells have normal-looking chromosomes and a gene mutation called MLL-PTD.

Typically, these AML patients responded poorly following treatment with older standard therapies, often relapsing within a year. Of AML patients with normal chromosomes who lack the mutation, on the other hand, four in 10 are cured.

The new study suggests that treating patients who have the mutation with an aggressive therapy such as an autologous stem cell transplant while they are in remission might significantly extend their disease-free survival.

An autologous transplant uses stem cells taken from the patient's own blood.

The research was led by investigators at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is part of a larger study sponsored by the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), a clinical cooperative group composed of oncologists from academic medical centers and community hospitals across the nation.

“Our data is the first to show that AML patients with normal-looking chromosomes and this mutation do as well when treated aggressively as patients who don't have the mutation,” says principal investigator Clara D. Bloomfield, professor of internal medicine and an internationally known AML specialist.

About 13,400 new cases of AML are expected this year, and about half will have cancer cells with chromosomes that show distinctive damage. The nature of that damage helps doctors determine a patient's therapy and estimate the patient's prognosis.

The remaining AML cases have cancer cells with normal-looking chromosomes. These cells lack the microscopic chromosome damage that guide therapy.

In 1994, however, a team of researchers that included Bloomfield discovered the MLL-PTD mutation in these patients. It was the first clinically useful marker to be identified in cases of AML with normal-looking chromosomes, and it was found to predict a short remission and poor response to therapy. About 8 percent of AML patients with normal-looking chromosomes have the mutation.

“Studies done eight to 10 years ago showed that nearly 100 percent of these patients relapsed and died within two years,” says first author Susan P. Whitman, a research scientist at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center.

This retrospective study set out to learn whether aggressive therapy provided through two CALGB clinical trials benefits patients with the mutation. It evaluated 238 people aged 18 to 59 with AML and normal-looking chromosomes. Of these, 24 (10 percent) had the MLL-PTD mutation.

All patients received an initial aggressive chemotherapy regimen (i.e., induction therapy) to induce remission. Those who achieved remission then received further aggressive therapy (i.e., consolidation therapy), usually an autologous stem cell transplant, with a few receiving intensive chemotherapy.

Of the 24 patients with the mutation, 22 had a complete remission. Of those, 13 relapsed within 1.4 years, but nine (41 percent) remained in remission when the study ended, with disease-free periods ranging from two to almost eight years.

“We believe that the use of aggressive consolidation therapy may have contributed to the reduced number of early relapses in these patients,” Bloomfield says.

“We still must do larger studies to confirm these findings, to better understand this disease and to develop curative targeted therapies.”

The findings were published in a recent issue of the journal Blood. Funding from the National Cancer Institute and the Coleman Leukemia Research Foundation supported this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Aggressive Therapy Best For Certain AML Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070801170336.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2007, August 2). Aggressive Therapy Best For Certain AML Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070801170336.htm
Ohio State University. "Aggressive Therapy Best For Certain AML Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070801170336.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins