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A new study recently showed how a new effective method can effectively treat an aggressive blood cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children.

An ET Healthworld report said, Children who develop high risk ALL, subtypes that aggressively grow and are frequently resistant to regular treatments, frequently deteriorate and many of them are dying from their disease.

One common high-risk ALL type for which new treatments are urgently required is 'Philadelphia chromosome-like ALL' Ph-like ALL, labeled for its resemblance to another type, Ph-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

According to Professor Richard Lock, the study's lead researcher and Head of the Blood Cancers Theme at Children's Cancer Institute, they are very encouraged by their results which suggest, they could be on the way of developing a "more effective way" of treating this cancer type in some children.

For this particular study, the Combination efficacy of ruxolitinib with standard-of-care drugs in CRLF2-rearranged Ph-like acute lymphoblastic leukemia, published in the Leukemia journal, the research team tested over 5,000 drugs in combination with ruxolitinib, a kinase inhibitor.

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'Ruxolitinib'

The National Library of Medicine describes ruxolitinib as a tiny molecule Janus kinase inhibitor used in the treatment of intermediary or "high-risk myelofibrosis and resistant forms of polycythemia vera and graft-vs-host disease."

In their research, the researchers discovered that ruxolitinib worked synergistically with various types of commonly used anticancer medications, the most effective glucocorticoids being topoisomerase I and II inhibitors, antimetabolites, and microtubule targeting agents.

According to the study's in vitro results, the study authors then performed vivo testing in a disease's living models also known as PDXs or patient-derived xenograft models or avatars. These are mice specially bred to develop and grow leukemia cells taken from individual patients who have CRLF2R- Ph-like ALL.

The findings showed that ruxolitinib's addition to a common treatment regimen also known as VXL which consists of vincristine, 2dexamethasone, and L-asparaginase boosted treatment efficacy in two of three avatars, attaining long-term suppression of growth of leukemia in one of these.

In a similar report, EurekAlert! specified, the treatment's enhanced effect when ruxolitinib was added and an assortment of drug classes discovered to synergize with ruxolitinib in their laboratory, suggests promising potential of Ph-like ALL's promising potential for kinase inhibitors.

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

According to the American Cancer Society, ALL is also called acute lymphocytic leukemia. Acute means, the ACS said, that leukemia can develop and progress rapidly, and if not treated, would possibly be fatal within a couple of months.

Lymphocytic, on the other hand means, it is developing from early or immature lymphocyte forms. Lymphocytes are a white blood cell type.

Everything begins in the bone marrow, the soft inner part of some bones where new blood cells are made. Most frequently, the leukemia cells penetrate the blood fairly fast.

They can sometimes spread to other parts of the body as well, including the lymph nodes, spleen, testicles in the main, liver, and central nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord.

Certain cancers can begin in these organs too and then spread to the bone marrow although these cancers are not leukemia.

ALL is explained on Mayo Clinic's YouTube video below:

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