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Getting the best treatment: children and elderly patients with ALL should see a specialist who is an expert in their age group

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Published on March 15, 2016

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Transcript | Getting the best treatment: children and elderly patients with ALL should see a specialist who is an expert in their age group

Acute leukaemia comes with two flavour, the AML, acute myeloid leukaemia and Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia or ALL .  On average ALL is better than AML.

With ALL we have two peaks, we have one affecting the paediatric [?] group and one increasing with age.  We know that the paediatric group we have great outcome with a cure rate of 80%.  That is not the case, unfortunately, for elderly people and that is due to the biology of that disease, it’s more aggressive in elderly people or more with age.  And second, for the [unclear] leukaemia therapy that young kids can have compared to adult ALL.

Now with all the information, the biology we have today, we are able to do a better job in what you call personalised therapy for ALL.  And what I tell my patients always, please whenever somebody with AML or ALL refer them to people with expertise.  That is crucial, these are rare diseases, we do see around 6,000 cases in the US, it is not like a huge disease so therefore you need somebody with expertise in order to make good choices for treatment and handle safety concern; that is a must for the patient.  

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