Most Read Articles
Audrey Abella, 09 Jun 2017
Maintenance therapy with olaparib significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) and patient-centred benefits in patients with germline BRCA-mutated, platinum-sensitive relapsed serous ovarian cancer (gBRCAm PSR SOC) compared with placebo, according to the SOLO* 2 trial presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2017 held in Chicago, Illinois, US.
Elvira Manzano, 14 Jun 2017
The oral PARP inhibitor olaparib significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) in women with BRCA-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer compared with standard chemotherapy in the phase III OlympiAD* trial, ushering in a new era of hope in BRCA-mutated breast cancer.
Pearl Toh, 01 Aug 2016
Understanding biomarkers predictive of treatment outcomes or response can help inform treatment decisions and personalize care for advanced prostate cancer patients, suggested an expert at the recent Urological Association of Asia Annual Congress (UAA 2016) held in Singapore.
Audrey Abella, 13 Jun 2017
A psychological intervention, Conquer Fear, may help alleviate fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) in cancer survivors, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2017 held in Chicago, Illinois, US.

Leukemia cure on the horizon?

Naomi Rodrig
01 Aug 2014

Curing leukemia is no longer a dream, especially for leukemia types related to a single known genetic defect, argued Dr. Pia Raanani, Head of Hematology Division at the Rabin Medical Center, Petah Tikva, Israel.

“For instance, treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia [CML], which is caused by a BCR-ABL mutation, has undergone a revolutionary change with the introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as imatinib, dasatinib and nilotinib. The use of these agents has changed overall survival as well as the quality of life of CML patients,” she said. “Ongoing studies are evaluating a potential cure, defined as absence of long-term leukemia relapse after treatment discontinuation.”

CML patients who had maintained a major or complete molecular response (MMR/CMR) with undetectable BCR-ABL levels for at least 2 years were enrolled in treatment discontinuation studies. “Current data from France, Australia, Japan and Korea suggest that nearly 40 percent of patients remained in remission for up to 4 years without treatment. Although relapse rates ranged from 22 to 39 percent at 1 year to 60 percent at 4 years, we are working on new therapeutic approaches for patients who are in long-term remission to prevent relapse,” noted Raanani. [Blood 2013;122:515-522; ASH 2013 Annual Meeting, abstract 3998]

Cure rates of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), which is related to the PML-RARA gene, have also increased considerably with the use of retinoic acid and arsenic trioxide, and more recently some targeted agents.

“Hairy cell leukemia, associated with the BRAF mutation, is another type of leukemia with a good potential for cure using targeted and biological therapies,” she added. “To quote Winston Churchill, ‘this is not the end, not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning’ when we look ahead towards cure of those and other leukemias.”   

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Most Read Articles
Audrey Abella, 09 Jun 2017
Maintenance therapy with olaparib significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) and patient-centred benefits in patients with germline BRCA-mutated, platinum-sensitive relapsed serous ovarian cancer (gBRCAm PSR SOC) compared with placebo, according to the SOLO* 2 trial presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2017 held in Chicago, Illinois, US.
Elvira Manzano, 14 Jun 2017
The oral PARP inhibitor olaparib significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) in women with BRCA-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer compared with standard chemotherapy in the phase III OlympiAD* trial, ushering in a new era of hope in BRCA-mutated breast cancer.
Pearl Toh, 01 Aug 2016
Understanding biomarkers predictive of treatment outcomes or response can help inform treatment decisions and personalize care for advanced prostate cancer patients, suggested an expert at the recent Urological Association of Asia Annual Congress (UAA 2016) held in Singapore.
Audrey Abella, 13 Jun 2017
A psychological intervention, Conquer Fear, may help alleviate fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) in cancer survivors, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2017 held in Chicago, Illinois, US.