In a nutshell
This study examined the effect of dasatinib (Sprycel) in addition to intensive chemotherapy in the treatment of children and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The study concluded that dasatinib with chemotherapy was a safe and effective way to treat ALL.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer often linked to a genetic mutation (permanent change) called a Philadelphia chromosome (Ph). Proteins called tyrosine kinases become abnormal with this genetic problem. This leads to uncontrolled growth of the abnormal white blood cells. Imatinib (Gleevec) is a common therapy used to target these abnormal proteins to stop uncontrolled growth.
Children with Ph-positive ALL have worse outcomes than Ph-negative patients, despite the effectiveness of imatinib. Dasatinib is another type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor that may be more effective in these patients.
Methods & findings
60 patients were included in this study. 34 (58%) completed the full chemotherapy treatment with dasatinib. 19 (28%) underwent stem cell transplant treatment. 4 (7%) stopped treatment due to side effects such as neurological problems.
86% of patients were alive 5 years after treatment. 60% survived without negative side effects after 5 years.
15% of patients experienced a relapse in the central nervous system after 5 years. 56% of patients had the IKZ1 abnormal gene. This was linked with worse outcomes of treatment and higher overall risk of side effects and relapse (reccurence of disease)
The bottom line
The study concluded that dasatinib plus intensive chemotherapy was safe and effective in the treatment of children and young adults with Ph-positive ALL.
The fine print
More research directly comparing dasatinib with imatinib would be valuable.
Talk to your doctor about using dasatinib with chemotherapy to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Published By :
Journal of clinical oncology
May 29, 2018