Dr. Kantarjian on Future Role of Chemotherapy in Patients With ALL

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Hagop M. Kantarjian, MD, professor, department of Leukemia, division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the evolving and future role of chemotherapy in the treatment paradigm of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Hagop M. Kantarjian, MD, professor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the evolving and future role of chemotherapy in the treatment paradigm of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Kantarjian explains that he is unsure how the role of chemotherapy will evolve in the coming years. Historically, he says, it is likely that there will be developments of novel targeted therapies that could be potentially combined with standard chemotherapy. However, chemotherapy in children and adults with ALL can be intensive and cumbersome, as it requires 3 years of treatment and is associated with many adverse events.

Therefore, possible steps that researchers can take in this area involve reducing the intensity, need, and duration of chemotherapy. This is likely, Kantarjian explains, as monoclonal antibodies have been found to be superior to chemotherapy and induce remissions in patients.

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