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Risk of leukemia after cancer chemotherapy persists
Date:2/14/2013

(WASHINGTON)- While advancements in cancer treatment over the last several decades have improved patient survival rates for certain cancers, some patients remain at risk of developing treatment-related leukemia, according to results of a study published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

Chemotherapy is often a highly effective treatment for cancer, but certain drugs have also been shown in a range of studies to increase a patient's risk of developing therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (tAML), a rare but frequently fatal condition. Thanks to significant advancements in therapy resulting in improved patient survival rates for certain cancers over the last several decades, researchers and clinicians now aim to design treatment regimens that maximize patient survival while minimizing short- and long-term complications.

"In the course of improving interventions and survival rates in many types of cancer, we have learned that certain chemotherapies can cause damage to cells in the bone marrow, increasing a patient's risk of leukemia. However, no recent large-scale studies have evaluated how the risk of treatment-related leukemia has evolved with the changing treatment strategies," said Lindsay Morton, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and lead author of the study.

To examine how the risk of tAML has evolved over time among cancer patients treated with chemotherapy, Dr. Morton and a team of researchers at the NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics evaluated data from cancer registries in the U.S. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, identifying adult patients ages 20-84 who were diagnosed with cancer (any type) betwee
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Contact: Andrea Slesinski
aslesinski@hematology.org
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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