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Improved chemo regimen for childhood leukemia may offer high survival, no added heart toxicity
Date:5/23/2013

(WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013) Treating pediatric leukemia patients with a liposomal formulation of anthracycline-based chemotherapy at a more intense-than-standard dose during initial treatment may result in high survival rates without causing any added heart toxicity, according to the results of a study published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the second most common form of leukemia in children, is a blood cancer in which the bone marrow makes a large number of abnormal white blood cells that crowd out other healthy blood cells over time, leading to infection, anemia, or excessive bleeding. Most adults and children with AML receive a first line of treatment (known as induction therapy) soon after diagnosis with a class of chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines. Standard induction regimens in children typically consist of three days of an anthracycline such as daunorubicin or idarubicin and seven to 10 days of another chemotherapy such as cytarabine. Approximately 60 to 70 percent of children with AML achieve long-term survival with this combination of drugs.

Recent evidence has suggested that increasing the intensity of induction treatment might improve remission rates and perhaps overall survival in AML patients. However, clinicians have used this approach sparingly in pediatric patients because of documented dose-related anthracycline toxicity in children, particularly the significant risk of damage to the developing heart muscle. In an effort to increase the effectiveness of this treatment for children with AML but reduce the cardiac risk profile, researchers are now investigating a liposomal (or lipid-based) formulation of the anthracycline daunorubicin (L-
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Contact: Amanda Szabo
aszabo@hematology.org
202-552-4914
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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