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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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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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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Escalating MTX appears superior for T-ALL

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Child with leukemia
Photo by Bill Branson
Escalating methotrexate (MTX) may produce better outcomes than high-dose MTX in children and young adults with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Researchers compared escalating and high-dose MTX given with the augmented Berlin-Frankfurt-Munster regimen in patients with T-ALL. Disease-free... [Read Article]
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CAR T-cell therapy will soon be available in England, NHS says

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Tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah)
Photo from Novartis
The National Health Service (NHS) of England has announced that tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah®), a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, will soon be available for certain leukemia patients. Tisagenlecleucel will be made available through the Cancer Drugs Fund, and patients could potentially begin receiving the treatment within weeks. NHS England struck... [Read Article]
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EC approves blinatumomab for kids

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Vials of blinatumomab powder
and solution for infusion
Photo courtesy of Amgen
The European Commission (EC) has expanded the approved indication for blinatumomab (Blincyto®), a bispecific, CD19-directed, CD3 T-cell engager immunotherapy. Blinatumomab is now approved as monotherapy for pediatric patients age 1 year or older who have relapsed/refractory, Philadelphia chromosome-negative, CD19-positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic... [Read Article]
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Role of SES in childhood cancer survival disparities

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Child with cancer
Photo by Bill Branson
Socioeconomic status (SES) may explain some racial/ethnic disparities in childhood cancer survival, according to new research. The study showed that whites had a significant survival advantage over blacks and Hispanics for several childhood cancers. SES significantly mediated the association between race/ethnicity and survival for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL),... [Read Article]
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Treatment guidelines for CAR T-cell therapy

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CAR T cells
Photo from Penn Medicine
Researchers have developed treatment guidelines for pediatric patients receiving chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. The guidelines include recommendations for patient selection and consent, treatment details, and advice on managing cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and other adverse events associated with CAR T-cell therapy. The guidelines were published in... [Read Article]
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Adult CCSs report financial hardships

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I-Chan Huang, PhD
Photo from St. Jude
Children’s Research
Hospital/Peter Barta
Health-related financial hardship is common among adult survivors of childhood cancer, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers analyzed more than 2800 long-term childhood cancer survivors (CCSs) and found that 65% had financial challenges related to their... [Read Article]
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