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Biologic Therapy of Leukemia (Contemporary Hematology)

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In the latter part of the 20th century, hematologists and medical oncologists were trained to treat leukemia with systemic therapy that was cytotoxic to both normal and malignant cells. Some of these therapies, such as methotrexate and L-asparaginase, were developed within the context of known biologic pathophysiology, but most were developed in relative ignorance of biologic mechanisms and cannot therefore be considered “biologic.” The usual goal of treatment was to eliminate rapidly dividing, or malignant, cells with DNA-damaging agents that spared normal tissue only in a relative sense.

Exciting new "biologic" therapies for treating leukemia are appearing so rapidly that clinicians often find it difficult to make informed decisions about their use when making patient treatment decisions. Biologic Therapy of Leukemia summarizes and reviews all the available data concerning these cutting-edge biologic therapies so that practicing clinicians can make the correct patient-care choices. Here the busy physician will find in one convenient place crucial information on the uses and limitations of the major biologic therapies for leukemia, the different biologic strategies for its treatment, the management of patients being treated with such biologic agents, and the current and future role of emerging biologic agents.

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