Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Less painful drug delivery for pediatric leukemia patients is safe, effective, research suggests

Date:
December 10, 2013
Source:
Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Summary:
Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of pediatric cancer, can safely receive intravenous infusions of a reformulated mainstay of chemotherapy that has been delivered via painful intramuscular injection for more than 40 years, research suggests.

Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of pediatric cancer, can safely receive intravenous infusions of a reformulated mainstay of chemotherapy that has been delivered via painful intramuscular injection for more than 40 years, research suggests.

Researchers looked at the four-year, event-free survival and toxicity of E. coli L-asparaginase delivered via IV in its polyethylene glycol (PEG)-conjugated formulation or through IM injection in its native formulation. Clinicians had been delivering the drug via injection because of serious allergic reactions previously linked with IV infusion of the drug in its native form.

The clinical trial is one of the largest to compare the safety, efficacy and pharmokinetics of the two formulations of the bacteria-based enzyme. Findings from the study, DFCI ALL Consortium Protocol 05-001, were presented at the 55th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. Data came from 551 patients, 1 to18 years old, who were treated for pediatric ALL at 11 centers in the United States and Canada between 2005 and 2010. The findings take on particular relevance now that native L-asparaginase is no longer available in the U.S.

"Demonstrating that this important agent can be safely administered intravenously should help to provide clinicians peace of mind that they can decrease patient discomfort without increasing risk," said Lewis B. Silverman, MD, director of the Hematologic Malignancy Center at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, who presented the data on behalf of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium.

The overall four-year event-free survival rate for all patients enrolled on the protocol was 86 percent, among the highest rates ever reported in a pediatric ALL trial. There was no statistically significant difference in event-free survival between patients in the trial's IV PEG-asparaginase and IM native L-asparaginase arms (92 and 90 percent, respectively). Nor were there significant differences in the rates of allergic reactions (12 and 9 percent, respectively), pancreatitis (11 and 9 percent, respectively) or clotting (6 and 11 percent, respectively), all of which are potential side effects of L-asparaginase.

PEG-asparaginase remains in the blood stream longer than L-asparaginase, which means patients can be treated less frequently. Researchers found that the lowest concentrations of drug in the blood of patients in the study's IV PEG-asparaginase arm were nearly eight times higher than those in the IM native E. coli L-asparaginase group.

Through patient and parent surveys, the study also demonstrated that pediatric patients experienced less pain and anxiety with IV administration of PEG-asparaginase.

PEG-asparaginase is a modified formulation of E. coli-derived L-asparaginase. Previous studies had indicated that PEG-asparaginase may be less allergenic, suggesting that IV administration of the drug might be more feasible than the native E. coli preparation. However, when Protocol 05-001 opened, most oncologists were continuing to administer PEG-asparaginase as an IM injection. At that time, no large trial had directly compared the efficacy of the IV versus IM administration of asparaginase.

Protocol 05-001 also investigated an intensified treatment regimen for children with B cell ALL who showed evidence of high levels of minimal residual disease following initial treatment, who tend to have relatively poor outcomes. The intensified regimen was associated with a four-year event-free survival rate of 77 percent, a large improvement over outcomes reported in the past for this group of patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. "Less painful drug delivery for pediatric leukemia patients is safe, effective, research suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210091132.htm>.
Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. (2013, December 10). Less painful drug delivery for pediatric leukemia patients is safe, effective, research suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210091132.htm
Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. "Less painful drug delivery for pediatric leukemia patients is safe, effective, research suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210091132.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. 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