With the high survival rate of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), there is interest in extending pediatric regimens to adult populations with the disease. Choosing the right therapy for the right patient, however, remains challenging, according to Daniel J. DeAngelo, MD, at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) 6th Annual Congress: Hematologic Malignancies.
Age and cytogenetic abnormalities (Philadelphia chromosome status) should guide treatment decisions, he stated. Clinical trials have indicated that a pediatric treatment regimen is more effective than an adult treatment regimen used in young adults of the same age, but, as DeAngelo noted, deciphering at what age older adolescents/young adults should be considered adults continues to allude experts. “Future research needs to continue to target more specific age ranges in this often broad categorization of adolescent and young adults,” stated DeAngelo in an NCCN press release