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How Should Immature B-cell ALL (Burkitt's Disease) Be Treated?

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Published on March 15, 2016

Elias Jabbour, MD from University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA discusses treatment options for immature B-cell ALL, also known as Burkitt's disease. An intensive chemotherapy treatment starts quickly after diagnosis. This combined with new drugs (e.g. rituximab) greatly improves survival chances.
Recorded at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2015 Annual Meeting, at Orlando, FL.

This programme has been supported by Pfizer, through an unrestricted educational grant to the Patient Empowerment Foundation

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Transcript | How Should Immature B-cell ALL (Burkitt's Disease) Be Treated?

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We know, for example, we have what you call the Burkitt disease, or a mature B-cell ALL.  These patients can be cured but they need to be addressed and treated immediately with intensive chemotherapy.  We know intensive chemotherapy can cause problems but in the hands of physicians with expertise we can overcome them, deliver intensive short chemotherapy and we can improve their survival.

 Plus we have a new drug called Rituximab [?] or what they call the Monoclonal antibody, they can come and fit the… bind to the surface of the cell and by adding this drug to the chemotherapy we improve overall [unclear] by 30%.  Today with a patient with Burkitt, if they are young – 25 years and younger – the cure rate at 5 year is 90%.  It dropped to 70% in elderly people, still great success compared to 30 or 40% what we had before.