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What Are My Options If the First Treatment Does Not Work?

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Published on March 15, 2016

At the 58th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, Dr Susan O'Brien, Professor in the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer, explains why patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who fail current standard treatment should consider participating in a clinical trial, which may provide access new and effective treatments.

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Transcript | What Are My Options If the First Treatment Does Not Work?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Dr. O'Brien:

If you didn’t go on a clinical trial upfront, it’s probably even more important at that point, because we know that the standard therapy is not working. One option is to intensify the standard therapy; so take, kind of, the drugs that have already been given, but give them in much higher doses. That can be done. But also, again, this is… Even if you didn’t define the disease as high risk at the beginning - you just didn’t see any of those features - it’s high risk now, because if it doesn’t go into remission, that, by definition, is not a good sign and puts the patient in a high-risk category.

So, again, probably at that point, it would be even more important to consider clinical trials, because you already know that the standard approach didn’t work, and really, right now, that the standard approach… If the first standard doesn’t work, is simply to intensify it.

Other than that, there are, you know, not a lot of options. There are a lot of interesting drugs right now that are in clinical trials that we hope will actually be able to become FDA-approved and potentially be available. But a lot of them are very early in development and, again, the only way a patient would have access to them is going to a site where they have a trial. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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