A review of young leukemia patients over the past decade has shown that the absolute lymphocyte count (ALC), a measure of normal immune cells found on every complete blood count report, is a powerful predictor of survival for young patients with leukemia.
According to the American Cancer Society, the average rate of survival for pediatric patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is close to 50 percent. However, researchers have found that using the ALC count on day 15 after initial chemotherapy treatment can significantly predict which patients are likely to relapse and those who will not.
This prediction may help physicians decide how aggressively to treat a leukemia patient. In addition, it may direct researchers in developing therapies to increase a patient's ability to battle the leukemia cells.
"Possibly by tweaking the immune system through chemotherapy, immune modulators or oral supplements, we could help a patient's body better fight leukemia," says Guillermo De Angulo, M.D., researcher and fellow at the Children's Cancer Hospital at M. D. Anderson. "This ALC test could also help us identify patients who would benefit from less chemotherapy."
The report studied 171 patients with either AML or acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), 21 years or younger, who had begun treatment at M. D. Anderson between 1995 and 2005. The statistics showed significant differences in survival rates in multiple analyses.
The results from the study showed that AML patients who had a low lymphocyte count on day 15 of treatment had a five-year overall survival chance of only 28 percent. However, patients with higher lymphocytes on day 15 had a much better overall survival rate of 85 percent.
For patients with ALL, the most common form of childhood leukemia, researchers found that those children and young adults with a high ALC count on day 15 had an 87 percent six-year overall survival rate while those with a low lymphocyte count had a 55 percent overall survival rate.
Researchers at the Children's Cancer Hospital plan to continue their study by following newly diagnosed patients and have begun a new study that analyzes the subsets of lymphocytes to see which ones have the most impact on prognosis. They hope their findings will be used to help physicians worldwide make decisions on how aggressively to treat their patients.
"Many developing countries lack the latest technologies and treatment options that we have here in the United States," says senior author Patrick Zweidler-McKay, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics. "A complete blood count test is a universal, inexpensive test. There is the potential for physicians worldwide to look at the ALC count to help determine whether the patient needs additional treatment options that aren't available in every center."
Sara Farris | EurekAlert!
Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University
Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy