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Leukemia News
Leukemia Breakthrough News

December 14, 2012
We Need Gemtuzumab Available Again to Treat AML 

By Farhad Ravandi, MD, Jorge Cortes, MD, and Hagop Kantarjian, MD
ASCO POST, February 15, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 3

Accumulating data have shown the benefit of gemtuzumab in intermediate-risk AML, both in younger patients and older patients when added to chemotherapy. In an era of personalized and targeted therapy, it seems illogical to withdraw gemtuzumab, the only agent newly approved for the treatment of AML in the past 15 years. Also, in contrast to solid tumors, where the market share of new targeted agents can represent billions of dollars, the total market share of gemtuzumab at the time of its withdrawal was only $20 million annually. This raises the question of whether economic considerations dominated the decision, discouraging Pfizer from stronger efforts to keep gemtuzumab available in the U.S. market.


December 14, 2012
ARIAD Announces Accelerated Approval by FDA of Iclusig (Ponatinib) for Patients with CML and Ph+ ALL Resistant or Intolerant to Prior Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Therapy
Ariad Pharmaceuticals Press Release

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA) today announced that following a priority review, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted accelerated approval of Iclusig™ (ponatinib) for the treatment of adult patients with chronic, accelerated or blast phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) that is resistant or intolerant to prior tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy or Ph+ ALL that is resistant or intolerant to previous TKI therapy.

December 12, 2012
ASH, 2012, Follow-Up for CML Patients Not Up to Par

Ed Susman, Contnributing Writer, MedPage Today 

ATLANTA – In the real world, imatinib (Gleevec) treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) works as well as it does in clinical trials, but physicians in the community may not be monitoring patients adequately, researchers reported here.

In one study conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, about 75% of patients who were treated in clinical trials with imatinib and about 75% of patients who declined to be in a trial but were also given imatinib achieved event-free survival at 10 years (P=0.860), according to Musa Yilmaz, MD, a clinical fellow in leukemia.

December 8, 2012
Polycythemia Vera Better with Low Hematocrit
John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today

Maintaining patients with polycythemia vera at hematocrit levels below 45% reduced thrombotic complications without increasing rates of   serious adverse events compared with a higher hematocrit target, researchers said here.

  December 13, 2011
ASH: Novel Antibody Promising in Lymphoma
  Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today

A new investigational monoclonal antibody aimed at non-Hodgkin lymphoma fared well in a test against rituximab (Rituxan), a researcher reported here.

  Jan 14, 2008
Subtype of Pediatric T-Cell ALL Dramatically Worsens Prognosis
  By Crystal Phend, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 14 -- A newly identified subtype of pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia may predict poor response to standard lymphoid-cell-directed chemotherapy.  <READ MORE>

  Sept 10, 2008
Childhood Blood Cancer Survival Rates Improve
  By Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today

HEIDELBERG, Germany, Sept. 10 -- Survival rates for the four major childhood blood cancers are continuing to rise, researchers here said.     <READ MORE>


Aug 6, 2008
CLL Phenotype Confers Malignancy Risk in Lymphocytosis

  By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

LEEDS, England, Aug. 6 -- More than 5% of people with normal blood counts have chronic lymphocytic leukemia-phenotype B cells, as do almost 15% of those with monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis, investigators here have found.  <READ MORE>


Apr 30, 2008
Genotyping Predicts Risk and Outcome in AML

  By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

ULM, Germany, April 30 -- Genotyping of acute myeloid leukemia can risk-stratify and predict response to treatment in patients with cytogenetically normal leukemic cells, investigators in a European cooperative study group have found.  <READ MORE>


Mar 7, 2008
Pregnant CML Patients Face Congenital Dilemma with Imatinib (Gleevec)

  By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

LONDON, March 7 -- Pregnancy during therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia puts women in a life-threatening predicament: a choice between the possible teratogenic effects of imatinib (Gleevec) and the need to keep the disease quiescent.  <READ MORE>


Dec 12, 2007
ASH: Newer Agents Vie for CML Niche in Imatinib Failure

  By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

ATLANTA, Dec. 12 -- Chronic myelogenous leukemia patients who are resistant or intolerant to imatinib (Gleevec) had a high response rate when treated with dasatinib (Sprycel), researchers reported here.  <READ MORE>


Dec 12, 2007
ASH: Intensified Kids' Regimen for ALL in Adults Shows Promise

  By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

ATLANTA, Dec. 12 -- Adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia have had almost a doubling of survival compared with historical rates when treated with an intensified pediatric regimen, investigators said here.  <READ MORE>


Dec 10, 2007
ASH: Adding Antisense Agent to Chemotherapy Improves Survival in Relapsed CLL

  By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

ATLANTA, Dec. 11 -- Oblimersen (Genasense) added to chemotherapy produced a significant improvement in long-term survival in patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia compared with chemotherapy alone, researchers said here.  <READ MORE>


Oct 5, 2007
Thalidomide Improves Survival for Older Multiple Myeloma Patients

  By Crystal Phend, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

LILLE, France, Oct. 5 -- Older treatment-naïve stages II or III multiple myeloma patients have a survival advantage when thalidomide (Thalomid) is added to standard therapy, researchers found in a randomized trial.  <READ MORE>


August 30, 2007
Missing Gene May Spark Imatinib Resistance in Philadelphia Chromosome-positive ALL

  By Michael Smith, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Aug. 30 -- When imatinib (Gleevec) therapy fails in Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), it may be because the B-cells involved lack a critical tumor-suppressor gene, researchers here said.  <READ MORE>


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