New Way To Kill Leukemia Cells Hailed As Paradigm-Shifting
11 June 2014

A “game-changing” discovery of a new way to kill leukaemia cells is the first major breakthrough at the $200 million South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.

SAHMRI and the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Personalised Cancer Medicine, made the discovery, which researchers say presents a new treatment strategy with a significant reduction in side-effects for patients.

The new treatment strategy involves the simple manipulation of a common protein when used with existing drugs which already have approval.

Blocking the protein, in conjunction with short periods of intense therapy, appears to influence the cancer cells to kill themselves, contrasting with the current requirement for continuous treatment and debilitating side-effects.

Currently the Beat Cancer Project is funding over 70 research initiatives (including project grants, fellowships, infrastructure grants, and travel grants and scholarships) covering a broad spectrum of cancer related topics and some of the most common cancers affecting South Australians.

Cancer news sourced from http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/sahmri-and-university-of-adelaides-centre-for-personalised-cancer-medicine-discovery-of-a-new-way-to-kill-leukaemia-cells/

A Single Dose of Neulasta is as Effective as 16 Doses of Neupogen in the Management of Patients with Leukemia
6 June 2014

Researchers from Europe and Australia recently conducted a clinical trial to compare Neulasta® to Neupogen® in 83 patients with AML. Patients treated with Neulasta® only received one injection and patients treated with Neupogen® received an average of 16 injections. Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) appears at least as effective as Neupogen® (filgrastim) in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. One injection of Neulasta® was comparable to 16 injections of Neupogen® in this group of patients according to results recently presented at the 46th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

Researchers have learned that the best way to cure patients with AML is to administer large doses of chemotherapeutic agents in a short period of time, within 6 months before resistance to the drugs occurs. The action of Neulasta® and Neupogen® reduces or even completely prevents the development of chemotherapy induced neutropenia and its associated complications in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Neulasta® has been designed so that only one injection is given per chemotherapy cycle compared to the daily injections required for Neupogen® administration.

Complications associated with infections occurred in only 12% of patients treated with Neulasta®, compared with 22% of patients treated with Neupogen®. Neulasta® appears at least as effective as Neupogen® and requires significantly fewer injections in treating chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in patients undergoing induction therapy for AML, the researchers concluded.

News sourced from: http://news.cancerconnect.com/a-single-dose-of-neulasta-is-as-effective-as-16-doses-of-neupogen-in-the-management-of-patients-with-leukemia/

Ibrutinib as Second-line Treatment for Persistent Lymphocytic Leukemia
3 June 2014

Ibrutinib (Imbruvica) is the first drug designed to focus on Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK), a protein very important for CLL-cell survival and proliferation. Within the current segment 3 trial, sufferers have been randomized to obtain once-a-day oral ibrutinib or the anti-CD20 antibody ofatumumab, a drug regarded as section of the current usual of care for CLL.

At six months, 83% of patients handled with ibrutinib experienced progression-free survival in comparison with 49% of patients on ofatumumab. Ibrutinib significantly extended progression-free survival, leading to a 78% discount in the possibility of disease development or dying in patients treated with ibrutinib when put next with ofatumumab. They noticed equivalent progression-free survival results in spite of age, medical stage or unique components similar to genetic mutation status.

In 2013, Byrd and his crew stated findings from a phase 1b/2 study of 85 patients with relapsed CLL patients on the New England Journal of Medicine in keeping with positive early response. At that time, 29% of patients with demonstrated disease development on ofatumumab crossed over to the ibrutinib arm of the learn about. The info Monitoring Committee advised patients to receive solution to switch to the ibrutinib arm of the learn about.

At twelve months, the general survival fee among patients handled with ibrutinib was 90% in comparison with 81% in ofatumumab arm. Additionally, 43% of sufferers on ibrutinib done partial response to therapy compared with just four percent of patients receiving ofatumumab.

New sourced from: http://newsduet.net/ibrutinib-as-second-line-therapy-for-chronic-lymphocytic-leukemia-supported-by-study/

Gene Therapy Turns Several Leukemia Patients Cancer Free
1 June 2014

A new cancer treatment called targeted cellular therapy pioneered at the University of Pennsylvania has generated a lot of excitement in the field. The researchers, Carl June and David Porter, announced the results recently at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans.

With advances in genetics, doctors can now reconfigure patients’ T cells to target a particular type of cancer cell. Targeted cellular therapy is an extension of long-standing efforts to ramp up the patient’s own immune system to destroy cancer cells. Patients with the acute form of the cancer, which affects both children and adults, were especially likely to respond positively to treatment.

June and Porter removed the patients’ T cells and genetically “rebuilt” and multiplied them before reintroducing them into the patient’s bloodstream. The weaponized T cells find and destroy all cells with the protein CD19 on their surface, which includes the cancerous B cells found in chronic and acute lymphocytic leukemia. After receiving targeted cellular therapy, 26 of 59 patients, including 19 children, are now cancer-free.

Patient Doug Olson had long suffered from chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL, when in 2010 he became one of the first patients to undergo targeted cellular therapy. A few weeks after his treatment, June and Porter could find no cancer cells in Olson’s body. More than 3 years later, Olson still shows no signs of CLL. Other early patients have also remained in remission, according to the doctors.

News sourced from: http://singularityhub.com/2014/01/06/gene-therapy-delivers-dramatic-success-in-treating-leukemia-will-it-work-for-other-cancers-too/