Survival stats improving for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

According to findings published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology , the five year survival rate among children and young adults diagnosed with the most common childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), have improved significantly in just a decade.

The retrospective study looked at 21,626 patients diagnosed between 1990-1994 and diagnosed between 2000-2005.

What they found was that 5 year overall survival has risen from 83.7% in the earlier years to 90.4 % in the later years.

According to the study's lead author, Stephen Hunger, MD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's Hospital Colorado, the improvement comes from using existing drugs more wisely, and not from the introduction of new drugs or therapies.

The data included kids between 0 and 22 years of age who were given treatment on a Children's Oncology Group clinical trial, between 1990 and 2005, which represents almost 56% of all known ALL cases in the United States during that time frame.

Source: JCO

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