[Fwd: [MOL] Need help with adult leukemia] [01186] Medicine On Line


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[Fwd: [MOL] Need help with adult leukemia]



Could this be what you're looking for?  Found it very informative.

Denise

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Source:
                       
                       Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
(http://www.fhcrc.org/)

                  Date:
                       
                       Posted 5/19/99


                 Breakthrough New Therapy Uses
                 Antibody-Targeted Chemotherapy To
                 Fight Leukemia 

                 Scientists presented promising data today at the 35th
Annual
                 Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
(ASCO) on
                 the use of a pioneering drug technology known as
                 "antibody-targeted chemotherapy" to fight acute
myelogenous
                 leukemia (AML) - a virulent and often fatal form of
cancer. The
                 experimental agent, CMA-676, induces remission in a
significant
                 proportion of patients with few serious side effects.
CMA-676
                 represents the first successful application of
antibody-targeted
                 chemotherapy. 

                 AML is an aggressive, life-threatening disease in which
certain
                 white blood cells become cancerous and rapidly replace
normal
                 bone marrow and blood cells. AML is among the most
serious forms
                 of adult leukemia, with a relatively high fatality
rate. Mostpatients
                 require intensive chemotherapy to achieve complete
remission, and
                 some also must undergo bone marrow transplants. Up to
half of
                 patients with AML, even after such intensive treatment,
have residual
                 leukemic cells or experience a relapse. 

                 Because current chemotherapy drugs to treat AML are
non-specific
                 - destroying good as well as bad cells - patients
receiving standard
                 chemotherapy tend to become very sick. Researchers at
the Fred
                 Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in collaboration
with scientists
                 from thirteen leading leukemia centers, including
University of
                 Chicago Medical Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and
the
                 University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, are working
with
                 Wyeth-Ayerst Research and Celltech PLC to study
CMA-676, an
                 antibody-drug conjugate that delivers treatment
directly to the
                 leukemia cells. 

                 The specificity of the conjugate lies in the antibody,
which
                 recognizes a cell-surface molecule that is abundant on
AML cells.
                 Importantly, however, the cell surface molecule is
absent from normal
                 blood stem cells, the seeds from which normal blood and
immune
                 cells originate. Specially engineered to carry a novel
and extremely
                 potent chemotherapy agent known as calicheamicin, the
antibody
                 selectively targets leukemic blast cells, while sparing
cells thatare
                 responsible for replenishing normal blood cells once
the leukemia is
                 eradicated. 

                 Promising results continue to emerge from a pivotal
Phase II trial in
                 the U.S., which involves patients who experienced a
relapse
                 following initial AML chemotherapy. CMA-676 given alone
appears
                 to produce remission among 36 percent of patients- a
rate
                 comparable to that of standard combination chemotherapy
                 regimens. The data also indicate that CMA-676 has
several
                 important advantages over standard agents. 

                 "The side effects are mild and well-tolerated relative
to standard
                 chemotherapy, especially by elderly patients," says
Eric Sievers,
                 M.D., of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "Also,
the
                 treatment did not produce some of the more common
                 chemotherapy-induced side effects." 

                 Whereas standard combination chemotherapy treatment
often
                 produces significant major organ damage, and sores both
in the
                 mouth and in the intestinal tract (frequent sources for
opportunistic
                 infections), CMA-676 treatment does not. CMA-676 also
is
                 associated with a relatively low treatment-related
mortality. As with
                 standard chemotherapy treatments, CMA-676 produces a
                 temporary suppression of bone marrow and blood cell
counts. 

                 CMA-676 is administered in two IV infusions fourteen
days apart,
                 and many patients have received the drug on an
outpatient basis.
                 Unlike standard chemotherapy regimens, which involve
multiple
                 drugs, CMA-676 is given alone. It is thus less likely
to produce
                 serious drug-drug interactions. 

                 Similar studies of this new therapy are underway
throughout Europe
                 and Canada, and the developers of CMA-676 eventually
hope to
                 adapt their groundbreaking technology for the treatment
of other
                 devastating cancers. 

                 ### The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is an
                 independent, non-profit research institution dedicated
to the
                 development and advancement of biomedical technology to
                 eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases.
Recognized
                 internationally for its pioneering work in bone marrow
                 transplantation, the Center has four scientific
ivisionscollaborating
                 to form a unique environment for conducting basic and
applied
                 science. One of 35 National Cancer Institute-designated
                 comprehensive cancer centers in the country, it is the
only one inthe
                 Northwest. Visit the Hutchinson Center web site for
more information
                 at http://www.fhcrc.org. 



Stuart Scott Harth wrote:
> 
> Dearest Molers - my 32-year old cousin in England was diagnosed with
> leukemia recently (I don't know what type CLL/CML/AML  ??) and is
> scheduled to undergo total body radiation and bone marrow transplant at
> the end of the month...
> In the past 3 weeks, I saw an article about a lot less invasive
> treatment for leukemia, which was very new in the States, but apparently
> as I recall, being used in Europe.  the article referred to the fact
> that the FDA had recently approved it in the States.  Unfortunately I
> did not keep it.  I've spent several hours this morning searching the
> web for it, but have been unsuccessful.  I know many of you are whizes
> with searches and are constantly sending out articles about the latest
> advances...Lil, Jeanne, Marty, Jo ?? SOS pls.  I'm almost positive it
> was one of you who sent the press release to me, AP, Reuters, etc. that
> you so often send.  I'd really appreciate if anyone out there can
> provide the info I'm searching for, or guide me in the right direction.
> In Britain they have socialized medicine, but her brother is a doctor,
> (a country GP) and may well be able to  research it further in England.
> The little I know about the procedure she is scheduled to undergo is
> anything but encouraging, so I would really like to be able to see if
> there is anything more promising and less invasive out there for her.
> She is only 32 and has 3 young children.  I would really appreciate
> anyone's help with this - suggestions, advice, all very welcome.  Thanks
> a lot.  Cori.
> 
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