St. Jude clinical trial XIIIB was based on stringent risk classification, early intensification of chemotherapy and addition of dexamethasone to improve outcome and increase quality of life
Improved risk classification for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), coupled with more intensive intrathecal chemotherapy for high risk patients and the use of a drug called dexamethasone, could one day permit physicians to omit irradiation as a part of routine treatment. These findings emerged from a clinical trial conducted by investigators at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital. For intrathecal chemotherapy the drugs are injected into the cerebrospinal fluid-filled spaces between the thin membranes covering the spinal cord.
The researchers base their conclusion on results of a study of ALL treatment at St. Jude called Total Therapy Study XIIIB, which are reported in the Nov. 1 issue of the journal Blood. The overall five-year event-free survival rate of the children in Study XIIIB was just above 80 percent, and the overall survival rate was about 86 percent, according to the researchers. Event-free survival means that patients do not experience a recurrence of symptoms or other complications related to the disease or its treatment.
Bonnie Cameron | EurekAlert!
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