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Novel treatments show improvements in survival and response rates for leukemia and lymphoma
Date:12/6/2008

(SAN FRANCISCO, December 6, 2008) The use of dexamethasone early in the treatment of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, may help reduce the risk of relapse according to study results being presented in a press conference on Saturday, December 6, at 2:00 p.m., during the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Francisco, CA. Additional research will be featured at the press conference that will highlight: the potential role of a combination therapy regimen that includes rituximab as the new standard first-line therapy for the treatment of advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the examination of pralatrexate for the treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphoma in the largest prospective study of this subset of patients, and the results of the first study examining a promising new molecular target for the treatment of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

"By conducting ongoing research with new, investigational treatments as well as with different combinations of existing treatment options that have been used for years, we are working to improve the survival of our patients with leukemia and lymphoma," said Linda Burns, MD, moderator of the press conference and Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. "The research presented today showcases the great advances we are continuously making in treating various blood cancers."

Leukemia and lymphoma are two of the most common blood cancers. Leukemias are categorized based on the speed at which the cancer grows acute leukemias grow quickly while chronic leukemias develop at a slower rate. Leukemias also are categorized as lymphocytic or myelogenous depending on whether they affect lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) or stem cells found in the bone marrow. According to the National Cancer Institute, each year there are approximately 44,000 new cases and 2
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Contact: Laura Stark
lstark@hematology.org
415-978-3505
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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