Prof Andrea Biondi talks to ecancer following his talk at ALL Assembly 2021.
He begins by explaining that Ph+ ALL (Philadelphia chromosome-positive ALL) is a relatively rare sub-group of ALL among paediatric patients up to the age of 18. Up until the event of the first TKI (Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors) the prognosis of this disease was very dismal. The only way to treat a child with Ph+ ALL was to get the disease into remission and then perform a stem cell transplantation as soon as possible. The overall survival rate was less than 40%.
Prof Biondi then goes on to say that the landscape was changed with the event of the TKI, where overall survival boosted from 40% to 70%. By reducing the need for bone marrow transplantation the long term side effects were also reduced. However, it was observed that there was a significant increase in toxicity from intensive chemotherapy + TKI.
He then concludes by saying that he strongly believes that an alternative approach, including immunotherapy, might provide a different landscape in either reduction of toxicity, or by further improving treatment effectiveness for this sub-group of ALL.