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EHA 2016 | The issue of relapse in Philadelphia chromosome-positive ALL patients and how to combat this

Philippe Rousselot, MD, PhD from Versailles Hospital and University, Versailles, France discusses the current medical need of Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients. After five years of follow up, most studies have shown a relapse rate of around 60%, despite the combination of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI’s, mainly imatinib and chemotherapy), with various dosage levels, as well as the aim of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Prof. Rousselot, goes on to discuss a trial (NCT00391989) testing dasatinib as first-line treatment in elderly ALL patients. Very few of the participants had been allografted and of those that relapsed, analysis showed an association with the T315I mutation. The T315I mutation is able to be detected before relapse and at diagnosis, making it possible to better characterize these patients. Prof. Rousselot ends the interview by mentioning a new approach to combating relapse, monoclonal antibodies. These were evaluated in relapsed/refractory patients, and are now on the way to being introduced in the frontline setting. He believes the possibility to combine a monoclonal antibody with a TKI will be available within one year. Recorded at the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2016 Annual Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark.