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!
Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen
Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences