Review article from St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital in New England Journal of Medicine
The cure rate for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) might continue to rise with improved use of conventional therapies. But even more effective and less toxic therapies based on genetic and pharmacogenetic studies might one day push the success rate close to 100 percent, according to an article published by investigators at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital in the April 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The St. Jude researchers base their prediction on their review of the current and evolving state of ALL diagnosis and treatment. ALL is a cancer in which an excess number of immature and non-functional white blood cells overwhelm the bodys ability to make normal blood cells in the bone marrow. It is the most common type of cancer in children, with about 3,000 new cases each year in the United States alone. The survival has rate increased from 4 percent--when St. Jude opened in 1962--to 80 percent today, following the development of protocol-based treatment at St. Jude that combined different anti-ALL drugs and revolutionized the treatment of ALL.
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