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High Complexity Laboratory Testing Supports New Targeted Therapies for Leukemias and Lymphomas
Date:1/25/2013

Plainview, NY (PRWEB) January 25, 2013

January 2013 – Leukemias and lymphomas are hematological malignancies, originating from the blood cell forming organs, such as the bone marrow and the lymph nodes. More than 100,000 cases of leukemia and lymphoma are diagnosed in the United States every year resulting in more than 50,000 deaths. Survival rates for cancer have improved dramatically over the past decades, and the five-year survival rate (the percentage of people who survive five years from the date of diagnosis) for all age groups is 56.5% for leukemia; 86.3% for Hodgkin lymphoma; and 69.5% for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In the past twenty years the improvement in diagnostic methods for early diagnosis, as well as new therapeutic options, have contributed to better survival rates.

“A major disadvantage of conventional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, is that they do not discriminate between tumor cells and dividing normal cells. Therefore these therapies may have serious side effects,” explains Dr. Zsuzsanna Vegh-Goyarts, assistant director of the Hematology-Oncology Flow Cytometry department at Acupath Laboratories, a leader in high complexity testing and molecular genetics. In the past several decades researchers have been trying to find more cancer specific treatments, agents that specifically bind to and destroy the cancer cells and have minimal toxicity to the normal cells. “As personalized medicine develops, high complexity laboratory diagnostic testing has more and more importance to identify these specific molecular targets for each individual case,” she adds.

Monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) were first used in animal models for targeting tumor cells. They are protein molecules that bind to targets on the cell surface with great specificity. The first MoAb based clinical trials started almost thirty years ago, and today
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