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Doctors are working to learn more about B-cell leukemia, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.
Targeted therapy. New treatments are being tested in clinical trials, including those that use angiogenesis inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. Angiogenesis inhibitors are focused on stopping angiogenesis, which is the process of making new blood vessels. As discussed in the Treatment section, BL22 and LMB-2 are monoclonal antibodies linked to toxins that are designed to attach to the surface proteins of leukemia cells. Doctors are using these and other monoclonal antibodies in clinical trials for people with HCL when other treatments no longer work.
Recent research has shown that most of the abnormal cells involved in HCL have a mutation in a gene called BRAF. In the future, finding out whether this gene is mutated may help diagnose HCL. In addition, drugs that keep a mutated BRAF gene from working have helped slow or stop the growth of other cancers and are likely to be studied for HCL when other treatments do not work.
Supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current B-cell leukemia treatments in order to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.
Learn more about common statistical terms used in cancer research.
Looking for More about Current Research?
If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding leukemia, explore these related items:
- To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your doctor or search online clinical trial databases now.
- Read ASCO’s latest Clinical Cancer Advances report, which highlights top research findings over the past year.
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