Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is an extremely deadly cancer, but a new treatment option could result in a higher survival rate. Are you aware of this very deadly cancer that spreads quickly throughout your entire body? Majority of people are unaware with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a quickly growing cancer that happens when the bone marrow makes too many B-cell lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.
Fortunately the FDA has now approved the anti-cancer drug Besponsa (inotuzumab ozogamicin) to help treat this cancer. As of right now, it’s still blurry whether the drug is already approved for use in South Africa.
This cancer is so deadly because of its acute nature. And if there are too many white blood cells in the blood, it becomes thick and syrupy, leading to less oxygen delivered to the body’s organs, including the brain.
Nearly 6 000 people in the U.S are probable to be diagnosed with the disease in 2017, and more than 1 400 are estimated to die from it, according to estimates from the US National Cancer Institute.
“For adult patients with B-cell ALL whose cancer has not responded to initial treatment or has returned after treatment, life expectancy is typically low,” Dr Richard Pazdur, director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence, reported. “These patients have few treatments available and today’s approval provides a new, targeted treatment option.”
Besponsa was evaluated in clinical studies including 326 people with relapsed or refractory B-cell ALL who had received one or two prior treatments with other medication. Greater than 35% of people evaluated achieved complete remission for about eight months after taking Besponsa, compared with roughly 17% of those who took a different chemotherapy drug.
Common side effects of Besponsa entail low blood platelets, low white-blood-cell count, infection, anaemia, fatigue and severe bleeding. The drug’s label includes a boxed warning of possible severe liver damage. The FDA reported that pregnant or breast-feeding women should refrain from taking the drug.