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Expert Anticipates Cure in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Jason Harris
Published: Thursday, Aug 30, 2018

Elias Jabbour, MD

Elias Jabbour, MD

With positive results from agents such as inotuzumab ozogamicin (Besponsa), ponatinib (Iclusig), blinatumomab (Blincyto), tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah), and pembrolizumab (Keytruda), Elias Jabbour, MD, said he believes acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) will be cured sooner rather than later.

, Jabbour discussed recent clinical trial results in ALL, the role of immunotherapy, and the biggest challenges facing the field.

OncLive: What is the current treatment landscape in ALL?

Jabbour: There are a lot of developments happening today in ALL. We are improving the outcome of this disease. In frontline pediatric ALL, the cure rate is 80% to 90%. The outcome is still not as good in adult ALL, with a cure rate approaching 50%. That has to do with the biology of the disease—it is quite different between pediatric and adult.

There are a lot of things happening today in ALL. The question is, “How can we move these drugs into the frontline setting in order to further improve outcomes, eliminate the need for chemotherapy and intensive chemotherapy, and for further improvement of OS?”

What is the role of immunotherapy in this setting?

One of the novelties in cancer and in ALL is immunotherapy. We try to go after specific targets and spare the normal organs.
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