New treatment for Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia could replace chemotherapy

Medical University of Vienna. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2016.

http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/obf_images/38/39/b68ff2eb31eba062bada8d11d4c0.jpg
Image source: Wellcome Photo Library // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Image shows photomicrograph of bone marrow acid phosphatase in acute T-cell lymphocytic leukaemia

Studies conducted at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital show that the drugs ibrutinib and idelalisib used in the targeted treatment of chronic lymphatic leukemia can significantly prolong the survival time of high-risk patients. The average survival time of these patients is between one and two years when they receive standard treatment, whereas 80% of patients receiving the new treatment were still alive after two years. These results give us reason to hope that, in future, these two drugs could not only replace chemotherapy but even stem cell transplantation.

Both drugs are so-called “small molecules” and belong to the class of substances known as kinase inhibitors. They are used in targeted cancer treatment, where they interrupt the signalling pathways of the cancer cells. Both substances inhibit cell growth and idelalisib additionally affects the cells’ ability to metastasize. Over the course of the last two years, they have been separately tested in studies at MedUni Vienna and are now routinely available to patients.

Read the full commentary here

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