Wednesday December 19, 2018

Leukemia Progression in Kids Can be Delayed Through Bone Density Treatment

Targeting a bone loss mechanism that occurs during the development of leukemia may hold the key to reducing the progression of the disease in children, researchers have found. Leukemia is a cancer of blood-forming tissues, hindering the body's ability to fight infection.

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Our finding that the cells surrounding the leukemia cells can contribute to treatment failure or success has led to a paradigm shift.
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Targeting a bone loss mechanism that occurs during the development of leukemia may hold the key to reducing the progression of the disease in children, researchers have found.

Leukemia is a cancer of blood-forming tissues, hindering the body’s ability to fight infection.

The study focused on the most common form of cancer in children, a subtype of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and witnessed substantial bone loss during its development, Xinhua news agency reported.

Children and adults treated with oral antibiotics may have a higher risk of developing kidney stones, according to a new study.
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The pre-clinical findings from identifying the mechanism were promising and suggested that targeting the microenvironment around leukemia cells could not only help fight the cancer, but “simultaneously provide relief for one of its most common and painful side-effects, bone loss”, said lead author Laurence Cheung, a researcher from the Telethon Kids Cancer Centre, West Perth in Australia.

In the study, published in the journal Leukemia, the team identified a signal produced by the leukemia cells which instructed cells in the microenvironment to eat away at the bone.

The researchers then used a commercially available drug to target the cells in the microenvironment around the leukemia cells.

Our finding that the cells surrounding the leukemia cells can contribute to treatment failure or success has led to a paradigm shift.
Representational image, pixabay

“Importantly, we found that this not only compensated for the leukemia-dependent bone fragility, but also reduced leukemia progression,” Cheung said.

“To date, the main strategy for cancer therapy in children has focused on targeting malignant cells with chemotherapy, which is toxic for the leukemia cells but also toxic for the patient.

Also Read: Effective Treatment to Protect Cancer Patients From Blood Clots

“Our finding that the cells surrounding the leukemia cells can contribute to treatment failure or success has led to a paradigm shift.

“It means this potentially could be a powerful adjuvant therapy. It’s not going to replace chemotherapy, but we propose that using chemotherapy and treating the microenvironment at the same time will have more benefit than just the chemotherapy by itself,” Cheung said. (IANS)

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New Drug to Give Hopes to Bone Marrow Cancer Patients

It reduced the risk of progression or death by more than 50 per cent in both groups

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A therapeutic drug has been found to improve outcomes and survival rates for patients with a serious type of bone marrow cancer.

In a clinical trial by researchers at Newcastle University in Britain, patients with newly diagnosed myeloma were treated with a drug called lenalidomide.

The results, published in the journal The Lancet Oncology, showed an improvement for those who received lenalidomide drug, compared to those not receiving it.

“This is a major breakthrough as it shows that the long-term use of lenalidomide significantly improves the time myeloma patients stay in remission after initial therapy,” said Professor Graham Jackson from the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at Newcastle.

Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells and it can affect several areas of the body, such as the spine, skull, pelvis and ribs. Current treatment usually involves chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant.

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New drug offers hope for bone marrow cancer patients. Pixabay

“It is a huge step and, importantly, identifies that for younger patients lenalidomide improves their overall survival for this difficult-to-treat bone marrow cancer,” Jackson said.

“Our research highlights that lenalidomide should be considered for newly diagnosed patients following stem-cell transplantation,” he added.

As part of the study, a total of 1,137 newly diagnosed patients were randomly assigned to lenalidomide maintenance therapy and 834 patients to observation – this was after they completed their initial treatment.

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The results show that lenalidomide can prolong the average remission time by more than two years in younger patients and by well over a year in older, less fit patients.

It reduced the risk of progression or death by more than 50 per cent in both groups. (IANS)