For the last ten years, EORTC’s efforts in this field have focused on acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALL), the main childhood leukemia. In the past, EORTC was also active in myeloid leukemias and in non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Current cure rates in pediatric ALL are high. Most pediatric hemato-oncologists believe that the limits of chemotherapeutical treatment have been reached. But, looking at the optimal use of antileukemic agents, molecular genetic analyses of leukemic cells, pharmacodynamic studies of drugs, pharmacogenetic studies of the host’s drug-metabolising enzymes, drug transporters and drug targets, there is a rational and scientific basis to further improve treatment efficacy and reduce complications. Early treatment response, defined by the measurement of minimal residual disease, which reflects both the drug responsiveness of leukemic cells and host pharmacodynamics/pharmaco-genomics, is a very reliable prognostic indicator for gauging the intensity of treatment. So EORTC research is focusing on these aspects, aiming to improve the effectiveness of treatment and quality of life for these patients.
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EORTC study suggests detection of ERG gene deletion at diagnosis of childhood ALL is useful for risk stratification
FP7 IntReALL – A randomized Phase III Study Conducted by the Resistant Disease Committee of the International BFM Study Group: A Children Leukemia Group Study. EORTC is contributing to the clinical trial (EORTC 58111).