The Emerging Era of Targeted Therapy in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
One of the most fundamental goals of modern cancer research is to develop more effective therapies that specifically target the cancer cell while sparing normal cells from the collateral damage that is common to conventional therapies. The cornerstone of current cancer treatment depends on drugs associated with a very narrow therapeutic index in that the effective dose and the toxic dose frequently overlap. While progress in pediatric oncology, specifically, improved cure rates for the most common childhood malignancy, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), has outpaced improvements in other cancer subtypes, treatment for ALL still relies on conventional cytotoxic agents thereby exposing children to considerable short- and long-term side effects.
KeywordsAcute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Cancer Stem Cell Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin Event Free Survival Conventional Cytotoxic Agent
This work was supported by the Penelope London Foundation, the Friedman Fund for Childhood Leukemia, and the Walter Family Pediatric Leukemia Fund. The authors thank Drs. Teena Bhatla and Elizabeth Raetz for review of the manuscript.
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