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Age, Treatment Predictive of Leukemia Prognosis

-- Lisa Cockrell, PhD

Thursday, February 26, 2009

THURSDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Complete response, time to treatment failure and overall survival are useful outcomes for developing new prognostic models for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, according to research published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

William G. Wierda, of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues evaluated pretreatment characteristics of 595 previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients in a retrospective analysis. Patients received front-line treatment with either fludarabine-based therapy, fludarabine combined with cyclophosphamide or anthracenedione, or chemotherapy with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab.

The investigators found that the front-line regimen used to treat patients, as well as age and beta-2-microglobulin level, was a significant predictive factor of complete response, time to treatment failure and overall survival. Further, the percent lymphocytes in the bone marrow also independently predicted time to treatment failure. Using this data, the authors created two weighted prognostic nomograms (either including or excluding treatment regimen) to predict the five- and 10-year survival of patients.

"Identifying prognostic factors and developing models that predict for clinical end points are of great importance for providing information to patients and understanding disease," the authors write. "Prognostic models can be of significant clinical utility in identifying high-risk patients for clinical trials and understanding the biology of chronic lymphocytic leukemia."

Several of the study authors report financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry, including Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of fludarabine.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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