Novel Best Test to Guide Therapy in Children with Acute Myeloid Leukemia

October 2012, Vol 3, No 7 - Value Propositions

Early treatment response is a strong predictor of long-term outcomes in children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML); it can further help to determine whether an aggressive treatment approach is needed.

Researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have identified the best test to measure early response to treatment in children with AML. The test uses a technique called “flow cytometry,” which helps to identify a single cancer cell among 1000 normal cells after the initial weeks of intensive chemotherapy. This new test identifies patients with AML who have minimal residual disease after chemotherapy and would therefore benefit from more intensive therapy, including bone marrow transplantation.

The use of flow cytometry proved better than 2 other common methods used to identify minimal residual disease and predict patient survival.

“These results will help establish flow cytometry testing for minimal residual disease as a routine tool for guiding therapy of acute myeloid leukemia and identifying patients early who are at risk of treatment
failure,” said lead investigator Hiroto Inaba, MD, PhD, Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist, Department of Oncology, Division of Leukemia/Lymphoma, St. Jude Hospital. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Press Release; September 10, 2012