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HealthCombo Therapy Helps Beat a Common Childhood Leukemia

Combo Therapy Helps Beat a Common Childhood Leukemia

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By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Combining stem cell transplants with cutting-edge immunotherapy prevents leukemia relapses in younger folks and improves their possibilities of survival, new analysis suggests.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most typical childhood most cancers.

This research included 50 sufferers (ages: 4 to 30) with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who acquired CAR T-cell remedy. The therapy genetically modifies a affected person’s personal immune cells to make them simpler at killing most cancers. (CAR is shorthand for chimeric antigen receptor.)

While CAR-T cell remedy offers full remission in between 60% and 100% of sufferers initially, many relapse. One research discovered that greater than 40% had relapsed 13 months after therapy.

This research investigated whether or not stem cell transplants may assist stop relapses in sufferers who had undergone CAR T-cell therapy.

Of 21 sufferers who acquired a transplant of donor stem cells after CAR T-cell remedy, 9.5% had relapsed 24 months later, the research discovered. All of the sufferers who did not have a stem cell transplant had relapsed by that time.


The findings — revealed lately within the Journal of Clinical Oncology — counsel that stem cell transplants supply long-term advantages for younger sufferers who get CAR T-cell remedy, in line with the University of Virginia researchers.

“More than 50% of kids in other studies with a different CAR relapse, with the majority of them losing the target the CAR goes after,” mentioned Dr. Daniel Lee, a pediatric oncologist and director of Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant and Immunotherapy at UVA Children’s Hospital in Charlottesville.

“Most of these kids have a single shot at this life-saving and paradigm-changing therapy called CAR T-cells. We should do all we can to maximize the chance for a cure, and right now that means a transplant after CAR therapy for most,” Lee added.

He famous that many dad and mom flip to CAR T-cells in hopes of avoiding a stem cell transplant.

“But,” he added, “there is a window of opportunity after CARs to cure more of these incurable kids with a transplant; our study demonstrates this.”


More info

The American Cancer Society has extra on acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

SOURCE: University of Virginia, information launch, March 31, 2021

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