The overall cure rate of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia has reached 90%. Future risk-adapted treatment regimens will be based on leukemic cell genetics, host pharmacogenetics, and minimal residual disease determined by next generation sequencing techniques to improve the cure rates and the quality of life of patients. The advent of molecular therapeutics, cellular therapy, and immunotherapy promises to substantially reduce the need of chemotherapy and the duration of treatment, and to boost the overall cure rate toward 100%. Cancer susceptibility genes with therapeutic, monitoring and counseling implications will all be identified, and preventive measures may be devised for some subtypes of leukemia. This presentation provides an overview of the recent advances in biology and treatment that will impact the future management of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Ching-Hon Pui, MD
Chair, Department of Oncology St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN
Dr Ching-Hon Pui is chair of the Oncology Department and the Fahad Nassar Al-Rashid Chair of Leukemia Research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor. His research contributes to the improved cure rate of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) toward 90%, while concomitantly improving the quality of life of survivors by successfully eliminating irradiation in all patients. He has co-founded an international childhood ALL research consortium, organized annual teaching conferences in Asia, influenced the development of a new Chinese medical insurance policy starting with childhood ALL, and established the first China National Childhood ALL Study Group. Dr Pui has authored over 750 peer-reviewed original articles and more than 150 book chapters and reviews. He has edited nine books and monographs on leukemia, and serves as section editor or on editorial boards of many journals. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, Academia Sinica Taiwan, and Chinese Academy of Engineering, and is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.