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Antibody-directed chemotherapy offers improved survival for some leukemia patients

Date:
February 22, 2011
Source:
Cardiff University
Summary:
Antibody-directed chemotherapy offers improved survival to particular sub-groups of leukemia sufferers, a new study has found.

Antibody-directed chemotherapy offers improved survival to particular sub-groups of leukemia sufferers, a Cardiff University-led study has found.

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The findings suggest that the treatment may be effective for the majority of younger acute myeloid leukemia (AML) sufferers, who can be identified by genetic profiling.

The research team studied more than a thousand patients, predominantly under 60, who received a combination of chemotherapy and the drug Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin (commercial name Mylotarg).

The study found no overall difference in survival rates across the whole study group. However, once the patients were broken down by pre-determined sub-groups, the researchers found significant differences.

For patients whose chromosomes showed they were already at low risk, the team found that combined treatment delivered a marked survival advantage. There was no advantage for those at high risk, and a trend towards a benefit for those at intermediate risk. Around 70 per cent of patients were found to have a predicted improvement of 10 per cent of surviving for five years. A sub-group with Core Binding Factor (CBF) leukemia was found to have a particularly clear benefit from the treatment.

Professor Alan Burnett of Cardiff University's School of Medicine, who led the study, said: "We already know that Acute Myeloid Leukemia is a collection of diseases. Our study suggests that particular treatments may need to be targeted to these particular sub-groups. We have found that CBF patients have distinctly better survival chances, with few additional side-effects, if Mylotarg is combined with conventional chemotherapy. Further research is required into this prospect."

The research was supported by a grant from the Medical Research Council and conducted at hospitals across the UK and in Denmark. The findings have just been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and are also the subject of an editorial in the journal.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. A. K. Burnett, R. K. Hills, D. Milligan, L. Kjeldsen, J. Kell, N. H. Russell, J. A. L. Yin, A. Hunter, A. H. Goldstone, K. Wheatley. Identification of Patients With Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia Who Benefit From the Addition of Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin: Results of the MRC AML15 Trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2010; 29 (4): 369 DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2010.31.4310

Cite This Page:

Cardiff University. "Antibody-directed chemotherapy offers improved survival for some leukemia patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222123012.htm>.
Cardiff University. (2011, February 22). Antibody-directed chemotherapy offers improved survival for some leukemia patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222123012.htm
Cardiff University. "Antibody-directed chemotherapy offers improved survival for some leukemia patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222123012.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

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