Several latest research studies are underway to seek more information on childhood acute myeloid leukemia. The various related prevention methods, diagnostic process at the initial phase, and best treatment strategies. Genetic testing also helps doctors better understand the causes of leukemia, determine the prognosis for the child, and develop new drugs that target these specific genetic changes. Therefore, changes made to chemotherapy treatments or stem cell transplantation are partly based on these new types of tests. New drugs for AML are are undergoing tests in clinical trials or developed in research laboratories. Clinical trials are going on to find more acceptable ways of lessening symptoms and side effects of childhood cancer treatments to improve comfort and quality of life during treatment and into adulthood.
Advancement in Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia Research
Additionally doctors are learning more about AML, ways to prevent it, the best way to treat it, and how to give the best care to children diagnosed with this disease. The following research areas may comprise new alternatives for patients with the help of clinical trials. Therefore, always talk with the child’s doctor about the best diagnostic and treatment options for your child.
The genetics of leukemia cells are being tested to see if they can help doctors decide which patients need more or less intense treatment. These findings generally help doctors better understand the causes of leukemia, determine the prognosis for the child, and develop new drugs that target these specific genetic changes 1.
New methods to measure minimal residual disease (MRD) can find one leukemia cell in 10,000 healthy cells, which can help find out the likelihood of recurrence. And so, changes made to chemotherapy treatments or the use of stem cell transplantation are partly based on these new types of tests 2.
New drugs and combinations of drugs
Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets cancer’s proteins, specific genes, or the tissue environment which contributes to cancer survival and growth. This type of treatment in the meantime stops the growth and spread of cancer cells. It also limits damage to normal healthy cells. FLT3 inhibitors are a type of targeted therapy known as a protein kinase inhibitor that targets AML blasts explicitly with the FLT3 genetic mutation. These are being tested with chemotherapy for children newly diagnosed with AML. Hence, other new drugs that can be used for AML are being tested in clinical trials or developed in research laboratories 3.
Palliative care/supportive care
Clinical trials are going on to find finer ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of childhood cancer treatments. It also aims to improve comfort and quality of life during treatment and into adulthood.
- 1.Quessada J, Cuccuini W, Saultier P, Loosveld M, Harrison CJ, Lafage-Pochitaloff M. Cytogenetics of Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Review of the Current Knowledge. Genes. Published online June 17, 2021:924. doi:10.3390/genes12060924
- 2.Reinhardt D, Antoniou E, Waack K. Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia—Past, Present, and Future. JCM. Published online January 19, 2022:504. doi:10.3390/jcm11030504
- 3.Chen J, Glasser C. New and Emerging Targeted Therapies for Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Children. Published online February 10, 2020:12. doi:10.3390/children7020012