Madrid, November 10, 2021.- More than 6,000 cases of leukemia are diagnosed every year in Spain1, of which about half are acute leukemias: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) or Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). For decades, acute leukemia in adults has had a 'bad' prognosis, but now new horizons are opening up with treatments with the so-called Target Therapies, drugs that act on specific alterations of tumor cells and that can improve the patients’ expectations of survival. Specialists in oncology and hematology presented these findings at the 10th edition of the Acute Leukemia Conference organized by MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid.
"Now the challenge of incorporating these new therapies into daily practice and making them a reality begins," says Dr. Adolfo de la Fuente, head of the Hematology Service at MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid and coordinator of the conference. "The new agents, monoclonal antibodies, kinase inhibitors or agents that act on other altered pathways in leukemias, constitute a new scenario with possibilities of combinations or sequential treatments".
The successful development of new agents means the healthcare professional faces the new challenge of incorporating these new strategies into daily practice, thus benefitting people suffering from the disease. Therefore, the training of medical teams to learn of the risks, side effects of these therapies and their prevention and management is essential. "We use different protocols which, on occasion, are agreed by working groups at a national level or with MD Anderson in Houston, and that allows us to implement them with the highest guarantees of safety”, he adds.
"Shared information is one of the fundamental aspects," he stresses. For that reason, during the conference training with a practical approach was on the use of new molecules was carried out. The development of these new drugs has been made possible thanks to a better understanding of tumor biology, of the alterations involved in the onset of the disease and of the genetic characteristics involved in resistance to conventional treatments like chemotherapy.
International attendance at an edition with a record number of people registered
The 10th Acute Leukemia Conference at MD Anderson Madrid has broken its own record with more than 700 registered attendees in a new hybrid format. During the different sessions, in addition to addressing Target Therapies, work on the standardization of diagnosis and monitoring methods of MRD (measurable residual disease) of pathologies like acute myeloid leukemia and lymphoblastic leukemia were reviewed, and their use in decision-making in the treatment of people suffering from these pathologies.
In addition, agents that have been successful in treating myeloblastic leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, lymphoblastic leukemia, and systemic mastocytosis were studied.