Here is some leukemia/lymphoma news.  The first is from sifiNews.  Site name doesn’t fill you with confidence, does it?

Lack of vitamin D in patients with leukemia ‘ups death risk’

Scientists have found a significant difference in cancer progression and death in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients who had sufficient vitamin D levels in their blood compared to those who didn’t.

Mayo Clinic researchers found that patients with insufficient levels of vitamin D when their leukemia was diagnosed progressed much faster and were about twice as likely to die as were patients with adequate levels of vitamin D, reports Newswise.

The finding is significant in a number of ways. For the first time, it potentially offers patients with this typically slower growing form of leukemia a way to slow progression, says the study’s lead author, Tait Shanafelt, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

While the researchers have not yet determined if vitamin D replacement in patients with initially low levels will reverse the more rapid progression associated with insufficiency, they are planning a study to explore that hypothesis.

This research adds to the growing body of evidence that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for development and/or progression of a number of cancers, the researchers say.

The study has been published online in the journal Blood. (ANI)

More evidence being vitamin D deficient isn’t a good idea!  Here is aricle number two from

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Patients May Benefit from Experimental Drug Brentuximab – November 04, 2010

According to clinical trial results published November 4, a new experimental drug may aid in the treatment of patients with blood cancers such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that affects both the lymphatic and immune systems. Researches from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that 25 percent of patients went into complete remission after undergoing treatment with the new drug, brentuximab vedotin.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reported that 36 of the 42 patients involved in the clinical trial experienced tumor regression, and 43 percent of patients experienced stabilization of cancer growth. Tumors shrunk in approximately 86 percent of patients, and 81 percent experienced a reduction in tumor-related side effects.

People diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma had limited treatment options for the last 30 years, said Anas Younes, a professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“Traditionally, pharmaceutical companies invested their efforts in common cancers that have a low cure rate,” Younes said. “Hodgkin lymphoma is not only an uncommon cancer, but also highly curable, so it was neglected by [pharmaceutical companies] for a long time.”

Approximately 30 percent of Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients do not respond to conventional therapy such as bone marrow transplants. The disease kills about 1,300 people in the U.S. every year, or approximately 15 percent of all Americans with the disease.

“If incorporating this novel drug with front line regimens improves their cure rate, we will have fewer patients that will need [transplants],” Younes said.

Researchers found that the most common side effects included fatigue, fever, diarrhea, nausea, low white blood cell counts and tingling or numbness in the hands or feet. Brentuximab vedotin, manufactured by Seattle Genetics, will undergo a second clinical trial in December.

This was only a small, Stage One trial.  But that is still a very good response rate–even for blood cancers.
Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

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