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Lymphoma and Pets
Crizotinib Effective In Small Study Against Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
Study findings presented at a press program organized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) this week in advance of its annual meeting in early June are encouraging for children with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), as well as people with other tumors.
Data culled from a Phase I clinical trial by the Children's Oncology Group (COG) using drug crizotinib (Xalkori) achieved remission in 7 of 8 children with ALCL with minimal side effects.
According to study leader Yael P. Mosse, M.D., a pediatric oncologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, these results are "an exciting proof-of-principle" for the use of crizotinib.
In 2008 aberrations in the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene were found in a percentage of cases of high-risk neuroblastoma, the most common solid cancer of early childhood. This exact gene is found mutated in cases of ALCL as well, along with patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
"We are entering a new era of cancer therapy, in which we use knowledge of basic biology to design very specific drugs that target cancer cells with potentially less side effects on healthy tissue," said Mosse. "In addition, as we concentrate on targets in molecular pathways, we move away from an exclusive focus on one form of cancer to customizing treatments according to biological activity. Abnormal ALK activity occurs in subtypes of neuroblastoma and subtypes of lymphoma, so identifying ALK activity in individual patients may enable us to provide the most effective care."