Bacteremic sepsis in ALL tied to neurocognitive dysfunction

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Child with leukemia
Photo by Bill Branson
Bacteremic sepsis during acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment may contribute to neurocognitive dysfunction later in life, results of a cohort study suggest. Pediatric ALL survivors who had sepsis while on treatment performed worse on measures of intelligence, attention, executive function, and processing speed than survivors with... [Read Article]
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Weighing the costs of CAR T-cell therapy

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Tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah)
Photo from Novartis
The cost-effectiveness of tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) depends on long-term clinical outcomes, which are presently unknown, according to investigators. If the long-term outcomes are more modest than clinical trials suggest, then payers may be unwilling to cover the costly therapy, reported John K. Lin, MD, of Stanford University, and his colleagues. Lowering... [Read Article]
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Single leukemic cell can contaminate CAR T-cell product

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CAR T cells ready for infusion
Credit: Penn Medicine
Investigators report that a single leukemic cell unintentionally engineered into the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell product can mask it from recognition and confer resistance to CAR T-cell therapy. They described the case of a 20-year-old male who received the anti-CD19 CAR tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) and relapsed... [Read Article]
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First NGS assay approved for MRD detection in ALL or MM

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Bone marrow aspirate
Photo by Chad McNeeley
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based assay to be marketed for minimal residual disease (MRD) testing in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or multiple myeloma (MM). The assay, called clonoSEQ®, uses both polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and NGS to... [Read Article]
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Blinatumomab approved to treat ALL in Japan

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Vials of blinatumomab powder
and solution for infusion
Photo courtesy of Amgen
The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has approved blinatumomab (Blincyto®) for the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). Blinatumomab is the first and only bispecific T-cell engager immunotherapy construct approved globally. The drug’s approval in Japan... [Read Article]
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CHMP reconsiders new indication for blinatumomab

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Vials of blinatumomab powder
and solution for infusion
Photo courtesy of Amgen
The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) said it will re-examine a recent opinion on blinatumomab (Blincyto). In July, the CHMP recommended against approving blinatumomab to treat patients with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) who have minimal... [Read Article]
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OBI-3424 receives orphan designation for ALL

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Micrograph showing T-ALL
© Hind Medyouf, German
Cancer Research Center
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to OBI-3424 for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). OBI-3424 is a small-molecule prodrug that targets cancers overexpressing aldo-keto reductase 1C3 (AKR1C3) and selectively releases a DNA alkylating agent in the presence... [Read Article]
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Kids with BCP-ALL exhibit immunological disparities at birth

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Smiling baby
Photo by Petr Kratochvil
Patients who develop B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) in childhood may have dysregulated immune function at birth, according to a study published in Cancer Research. Investigators evaluated neonatal concentrations of inflammatory markers and found significant differences between children who were later diagnosed with BCP-ALL and leukemia-free control... [Read Article]
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Prophylaxis reduces bacteremia in some kids

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Agar plate showing
staphyloccus infection
Photo by Bill Branson
In a phase 3 study, levofloxacin prophylaxis significantly reduced bacteremia in children with acute leukemias who received intensive chemotherapy. However, the risk of bacteremia was not significantly reduced with levofloxacin in another cohort of children who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Sarah Alexander,... [Read Article]
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Neurotoxicity risk is higher for Hispanic kids with ALL

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Syringe containing methotrexate
©Raimond Spekking
In a prospective study, Hispanic pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) had a risk of methotrexate-induced neurotoxicity that was more than twice the risk observed in non-Hispanic white patients. However, there was no significant difference in methotrexate neurotoxicity between non-Hispanic black patients and non-Hispanic white patients. In addition,... [Read Article]
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First CAR T-cell therapy approved in Canada

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Micrograph showing ALL
Health Canada has authorized use of tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah), making it the first chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy to receive regulatory approval in Canada. Tisagenlecleucel (formerly CTL019) is approved to treat patients ages 3 to 25 with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who have relapsed after allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) or... [Read Article]
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