New drug combo found effective against high-risk leukaemia

New Delhi, May 29 (ANI): Australian scientists have found what could prove to be a new and effective way to treat a particularly aggressive blood cancer in children. Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, or ALL, is the most common cancer diagnosed in children. Despite dramatic improvements in the survival of children with ALL over the past several decades, children who develop 'high risk' ALL - subtypes that grow aggressively and are often resistant to standard treatments - often relapse, and many of these children die from their disease. The study was published in the journal Leukemia. One common type of high-risk ALL for which new therapies are urgently needed is 'Philadelphia chromosome-like ALL' (Ph-like ALL), named for its similarity to another type, Ph-positive ALL. Shared genetic characteristics of these two types of high-risk ALL have led scientists to hypothesise that they may respond to similar treatments; specifically, a newer class of drugs known as kinase inhibitors. However, experiments have shown that cases of Ph-like ALL that contain a genetic mutation known as CRLF2r. Scientists have since been investigating whether kinase inhibitors are more effective when used in combination with other agents. Results showed that the addition of ruxolitinib to a common treatment regimen called VXL (consisting of vincristine, 2dexamethasone, and L-asparaginase) enhanced treatment efficacy in two out of three avatars, achieving long-term suppression of leukaemia growth in one of these.

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