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New analysis finds daycare attendance early in life cuts childhood leukemia risk by 30 percent
By Dross at 2008-04-29 06:19

LONDON: Children who attend day care or play groups have about a 30% lower risk of developing the most common type of childhood leukaemiaterm than those who do not, according to a new analysis of studies investigating the link.

The new research, to be presented Tuesday at the 2nd CHILDREN with LEUKAEMIA Causes and Prevention of Childhood Leukaemia Conference in London, is the first comprehensive analysis of studies investigating the association between social contact and childhood leukaemia.

“Combining the results from these studies together provided us with more confidence that the protective effect is real. Analysing the evidence in this way gives a more reliable answer to the question and a more precise estimate of the magnitude of the effect,” said the study’s leader, Dr. Patricia Buffler, professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health of the University of California, Berkeley.

read more | 1687 reads

New Drug Targets Three Kinds of Leukemia
By Dross at 2008-04-07 23:58

Just three years after discovering a genetic mutation that causes a trio of leukemias, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have helped move a new leukemiaterm drug into clinical trials.

The Food and Drug Administration approved human clinical trials of the drug based on strong preclinical data and additional studies in mice showing that the drug eliminates clinical manifestation of the leukemias without any significant toxicity. Some of the data that laid the foundation for the clinical trials are now being reported in the April 7, 2008, issue of the journal Cancer Cell by D. Gary Gilliland and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Scientists at TargeGen Inc., in San Diego., and the Mayo Clinic are also coauthors of the article.

read more | 1846 reads

Molecular science could further improve leukemia survival, say St. Jude researchers
By Dross at 2008-03-22 04:28

The dramatic increase that has occurred in the cure rate for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemiaterm (ALL) will be difficult to replicate in older patients without considerable additional research, according to an article by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital authors that appears in the March 22 issue of the Lancet.

In order to raise the survival rate of adolescents and adults with ALL, researchers will need a more thorough understanding of the biology of this form of leukemia, including the role that genes play in therapies, according to Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., chair of the St. Jude Department of Oncology and a leading ALL researcher. Currently, adolescents treated for ALL do not fare as well as children; and among adults with ALL, only 30 to 40 percent are cured.

read more | 1963 reads

By Dross at 2008-03-07 06:26

A new study suggests that a type of acute leukemiaterm may occur in part because abnormally low levels of one small molecule result in the over-activity of genes important to the disease. The research involved patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and a gene mutation called NPM1, an alteration seen in about one-third of adult AML cases.

read more | 2010 reads

Leukemia Therapy With Imatinib During Pregnancy May Cause Infant Abnormalities
By Dross at 2008-03-06 05:05

While doctors already face many challenges in treating patients with cancer, treating pregnant women with the disease, in particular, can be quite difficult as studies suggest that certain therapies can harm developing fetuses. According to the results of a study prepublished today online in Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology, expectant women treated with imatinib, a commonly used therapy for chronic myeloid leukemiaterm (CML), may be at moderate risk of developing fetal abnormalities.

Imatinib was introduced for the treatment of CML in 1998 and has become a primary therapy for most patients, turning the previously fatal disease into a mostly chronic condition in the last decade. The drug's label warns that women of child-bearing age should avoid pregnancy while taking the drug based on earlier studies that suggested it may penetrate the placenta and cause damage to developing cells.

read more | 2647 reads

Gene therapy protocol at UCSD activates immune system in patients with leukemia
By Dross at 2008-02-13 01:36

A research team at the Moores Cancer Center at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) reports that patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemiaterm (CLL) who were treated with a gene therapy protocol began making antibodies that reacted against their own leukemia cells. The study will be published on line the week of February 11-15 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Researchers led by Thomas J. Kipps, M.D., Ph.D., inserted a gene with the potential to activate an immune response – a gene therapy protocol developed at UCSD – into six patients with CLL, the most common form of adult leukemia. Several of the patients started making antibodies that reacted against their own leukemia cells. When tested in the lab, the antibodies also reacted with the leukemia cells of other patients with the disease.

read more | 1836 reads

Molecules might identify high-risk acute-leukemia patients
By Dross at 2008-01-17 01:41

COLUMBUS, Ohio – New research suggests that certain small molecules used by cells to control the proteins they make might also help doctors identify adult acute-leukemiaterm patients who are likely to respond poorly to therapy.

Researchers say the findings should improve the understanding of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and could lead to new therapies for patients with few treatment options.

The study examined the levels of molecules called microRNAs in leukemia cells from 122 patients with high- and intermediate-risk AML and in normal blood stem cells from 10 healthy donors.

The findings showed that both the leukemia cells and their normal counterparts had similar kinds of microRNA, but that the two groups differed in the levels of miRNAs present.

read more | 1842 reads

Lung Function Predicts Mortality After Stem Cell Transplant
By Dross at 2007-12-29 00:26

Pulmonary function tests are often performed before hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to screen for underlying respiratory problems. Recent research has suggested that pretransplant pulmonary function tests—particularly a measurement combining FEV1 and the diffusing capacity of carbon dioxide (DLCO)—can predict posttransplant respiratory failure and mortality.1

Jason Chien, MD, and colleagues retrospectively studied the pretransplant pulmonary function and arterial blood gasses of 2,852 cancer patients who received allogeneic stem cell transplants during a 12-year period. FEV1, FVC, total lung capacity, DLCO, and alveolar-arterial oxygen tension difference (PaO2) were measured. Patients in the nonmyeloablative group received 2Gy total body irradiation. Those in the myeloablative group received either total-body-irradiation-based or non-total-body-irradiation-based regimens. According to Dr. Chien, an Assistant Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, “Assessment of pretransplant pulmonary function tests is very important, given their relationship with mortality risk. We would like to see every transplant center in the world screen their patients with pretransplant pulmonary function tests.”

read more | 3941 reads

For women, Pathenogenesis is now a reality
By Dross at 2007-12-22 22:10

New Rochelle, NY, December 19, 2007—In a groundbreaking experiment published in Cloning & Stem Cells, scientists from International Stem Cell (ISC) Corp. derived four unique embryonic stem cell lines that open the door for the creation of therapeutic cells that will not provoke an immune reaction in large segments of the population. The stem cell lines are “HLA-homozygous,” meaning that they have only the genetic profile of the mother, but duplicated. Every egg from a woman has one copy of the information needed to raise a woman. Humans need two copies, and the second is usually provided by the father, including either an X or a Y. A group of researchers has simply copied the half that already existed in the egg, and created a new cell with the potential to grow into bllod cells, nerve, or any other needed cell type. This is different to cloning, which would be an exact replica of the mother. The lines could serve to create a stem cell bank as a renewable source of transplantable cells for use in cell therapy to replace damaged tissues or to treat genetic and degenerative diseases. 

read more | 3947 reads

Scoring system identifies MDS patients who have low-risk disease but a poor prognosis
By Dross at 2007-12-22 21:51

HOUSTON - A new scoring system for a form of leukemiaterm known as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) identifies patients who appear to have low-risk disease but actually have poor prospects of survival, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report online at the journal Leukemia.

"We know an undefined group of MDS patients who are classified as low-risk by our present prognostic models will at some point have a sudden worsening of their disease. Right now, we don't know who these people are, but if we can identify them, we can start those with a poor prognosis on early treatment," says lead author Guillermo Garcia-Manero, M.D., associate professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Leukemia.

read more | 1853 reads

Leukemia drug proves safe and effective over the long term
By Dross at 2007-11-08 22:18

(WASHINGTON, November 7, 2007) – The drug imatinib mesylate, more commonly known as Gleevec®, proves safe and effective over the long term in patients with an advanced form of chronic myeloid leukemiaterm (CML), according to a study prepublished online in Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology.

A team of researchers from the U.S. and Europe, including the drug’s creator, Brian Druker, MD, followed 454 patients with chronic-phase CML taking imatinib for more than six years. Prior to enrollment, all study participants had experienced either treatment failure or intolerance with interferon alpha, which was the standard of care for CML at the time the study was initiated.

read more | 1974 reads

Exjade®, a breakthrough once-daily oral iron chelator, receives first approval worldwide in the US
By Dross at 2007-10-18 02:10
  • Exjade offers new alternative to burdensome standard therapy in children and adults who require blood transfusions for chronic anemias
  • Approval makes iron chelation more accessible to patients suffering from diseases such as thalassemia, sickle cell and myelodysplastic syndromes

Basel, November 2, 2005 – Novartis announced today the first approval worldwide for Exjade® (deferasirox) – the first and only once-daily oral iron chelator – by the US Food and Drug Administration. Exjade has been approved for the treatment of chronic iron overload due to blood transfusions in adults and children age two and older.

read more | 5015 reads

Novel strategy under study for aggressive leukemia
By Dross at 2007-09-25 00:05

Novel strategy under study for aggressive leukemiaterm


A novel strategy to hopefully beat into oblivion one of the most aggressive forms of acute myelogenous leukemia combines the strengths of some of the newest leukemia agents, researchers say.

“These are not traditional chemotherapyterm regimens. These are targeted therapies that our earlier laboratory studies have shown have a synergistic effect,” says Dr. Kapil N. Bhalla, director of the Medical College of Georgia Cancer Center.

read more | 2700 reads

U of M begins nation's first clinical trial using T-reg cells from cord blood in leukemia treatment
By Dross at 2007-09-06 21:00

University of Minnesota researchers have initiated a ground breaking clinical trial to determine the optimal dose and safety of T regulatory cells (T-regs) to decrease the risk of immune reactions common in patients undergoing blood and marrow transplantation.

Ultimately, the researchers hope the experimental cellular therapy will improve overall survival rates for blood cancer patients as well as offer a potential new paradigm for treating autoimmune diseases.

“Toward our quest of making transplants even safer for adults and children with leukemiaterm, lymphomaterm, multiple myeloma, and other blood and marrow disorders, we are exploring the possibility of using T-regs to enhance the rate of blood and marrow recovery and reduce the risks of graft-versus-host disease, a complication that affects more than 60 percent of patients,” said Claudio Brunstein, M.D., principal investigator of the study.

read more | 2428 reads

By Dross at 2007-08-31 07:30


A new study suggests that an experimental drug being tested for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and to prevent organ rejection might also help people with certain deadly forms of chronic and acute leukemiaterm.

The laboratory and animal study focused on the drug, called fingolimod. Researchers said it might help patients with advanced chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) or acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), and whose cancer cells show a particular genetic change called the Philadelphia chromosome.

read more | 1161 reads

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