Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Drugs may replace chemo in leukaemia treatment

And it isn't only drugs that is getting improvement, but the process of administering them, of the diagnosing part of it...
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A researcher at work
Chemo to the Rescue: A Children's Book About LeukemiaRebirth: A Leukemia Survivor's Journal of Healing during Chemotherapy, Bone Marrow Transplant, and RecoveryAdult Leukemia: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients and Families100 Questions & Answers About Leukemia (100 Questions & Answers about)Childhood Leukemia: A guide for Families, Friends & Caregivers (Patient Centered Guides)SINGAPORE: Singapore scientists are a step closer to replacing chemotherapy with drugs, as the main treatment for certain patients with leukaemia.

They have found a combination of drugs effective in suppressing the cancer.

This treatment may become routine in four years, if clinical trials starting next year prove successful.

Treating cancer via chemotherapy can be painful and may lead to side effects such as severe vomiting and hair loss.

Cancer Science Institute of Singapore senior principal investigator Chng Wee Joo said: "We can use two types of oral-based treatment that are not chemotherapy to treat a subset of adult leukaemia patients that have a particular gene mutation in a gene called FLT3.

"This could potentially, in the future, replace much more toxic chemotherapy".

One in three leukaemia patients may benefit from this treatment.

The team also identified a gene called PRL3, that can help determine whether patients are likely to benefit.

A patient with less PRL3 is more likely to respond well.

This breakthrough was made possible by government research funding.

Scientists may be good at doing research but commercialising the results of their work is another matter.

And to this end Singapore's National Research Foundation has strongly pushed for scientific discoveries to translate into practical applications.

National Research and Development permanent secretary Teo Ming Kian said: "Research funding is becoming a lot more competitive.

"Researchers will have to, in a way, vie for those funding in areas that they think are going to make a difference to the world or society.

"So we want this contest, basically such that the best ideas, the best proposals are being funded".

The government will also look into building new facilities to support this when needed.

-CNA/wk


From ChannelNewsAsia.com; source article is below:
Drugs may replace chemo in leukaemia treatment
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