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!
Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.
Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy