What’s New in Treatment for Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)?

0

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of leukemia in which a group of white blood cells, called lymphocytes, are affected. Leukemia is the most common form of cancer in children, and about 80 percent of children with leukemia have acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy was approved in August 2017 for the treatment of pediatric and young adult patients with B-cell ALL that has relapsed or hasn’t responded to previous treatments. The decision marked the first time that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved CAR T-cell therapy for a form of cancer.

Lewis Silverman, MD, discussed the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia with CAR T-cell therapy.

Lewis Silverman, MD, discussed the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia with CAR T-cell therapy.

“It’s a very exciting development in our ability to treat childhood ALL,” Lewis Silverman, MD, Clinical Director of the Hematologic Malignancy Center at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, said in a Facebook Live Q&A on September 27. “It offers hope to those that we haven’t been able to treat with conventional therapy.”

CAR T-cell therapy, like all forms of cancer immunotherapy, seeks to sharpen and strengthen the immune system’s inherent cancer-fighting powers. It involves treating patients with modified versions of their own immune system T cells ­– white blood cells that help protect the body from disease. Because the therapy is only approved for patients with relapsed or refractory ALL, Silverman says a future challenge will be to examine how CAR T-cell therapy could fit into the overall treatment of pediatric ALL patients – for example, whether it could be introduced early in patients who having a high risk of relapse.

In the live broadcast, Silverman also addressed side effects of CAR T-cell therapy, as well as the potential of immunotherapy and precision medicine to treat pediatric ALL patients.

“This is a hugely exciting time in childhood leukemia research,” he said.

View the full discussion with Silverman below:

Learn more about CAR T-cell therapy from the Cellular Therapies Program at Dana-Farber.

    Make An Appointment

    For adults: 877-960-1562

    Quick access: Appointments as soon as the next day for new adult patients

    For children: 888-733-4662

    All content in these blogs is provided by independent writers and does not represent the opinions or advice of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or its partners.

    Latest Tweets

    Dana-Farber @danafarber
    CRISPR, a powerful new tool for editing the #DNA instruction manual in animals and humans, is proving a boon to… https://t.co/t1d9NLEuyT
    Dana-Farber @danafarber
    5 tips to combat the effects of lung cancer #stigma & ensure your diagnosis does not control your life:… https://t.co/IDUagG2qLy
    Dana-Farber @danafarber
    Case Study: Dr. Caron Jacobson profiles how CAR T-cell therapy, recently approved by the @US_FDA for relapsed or re… https://t.co/DWOaVDDAxv

    Republish our posts on your blog

    Interested in sharing one of our stories on your blog? Feel free to republish this content! We just ask that you credit Dana-Farber, link to the original article, and refrain from making edits that change the original context. Questions? Email the editors at insight_blog@dfci.harvard.edu.