Chinese collaboration yields results

Memphis, Tennessee, January 16, 2020

Two doctors look at camera and smile.

Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, M.D., St. Jude Department of Global Pediatric Medicine chair, and Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., St. Jude Department of Oncology chair, collaborated with the Chinese Children’s Cancer Group for this study. 

St. Jude is working with the Chinese Children’s Cancer Group to improve cancer treatment for children worldwide. They led the first Phase III clinical trial comparing targeted therapies for a high-risk type of leukemia.

The leukemia is caused by the fusion of two genes. The fusion results in Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

The fusion underlies 3-4% of ALL, the most common childhood cancer. This high-risk subtype has poor outcomes.

Imatinib is the first targeted therapy against the fusion. The study compared imatinib with the experimental drug dasatinib.

Dasatinib extended leukemia-free survival. That changed the way Ph+ ALL is treated globally.

“This was a very fruitful collaboration,” said corresponding and co-senior author Ching-Hon Pui, MD, Department of Oncology chair. “No single institution could enroll enough patients to do this kind of randomized clinical trial.”

JAMA Oncology published a report on this work.

Read the full News Release.

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