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First use of antibody and stem cell transplantation to successfully treat advanced leukemia

For the first time, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have reported the use of a radiolabeled antibody to deliver targeted doses of radiation, followed by a stem cell transplant, to successfully treat a group of leukemia and pre-leukemia patients for whom there previously had been no other curative treatment options.

All fifty-eight patients, with a median age of 63 and all with advanced acute myeloid leukemia or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome – a pre-leukemic condition – saw their blood cancers go into remission using a novel combination of low-intensity chemotherapy, targeted radiation delivery by an antibody and a stem-cell transplant. Forty percent of the patients were alive a year after treatment and approximately 35 percent had survived three years, about the same rates as patients who received similar treatment but whose disease was already in remission and who had much more favorable risk for relapse when therapy began.
 
 

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