Pharmacogenomics to improve childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia therapy
With current therapy more than 80% of children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) can be cured in industrialized countries. However, ALL is still amongst the leading causes of death from disease in children aged 1–15 years. Of note, antileukaemic medications can cause significant adverse drug reactions; and some patients have leukaemia cell clones that are resistant to current antileukaemic treatment. Therefore, further improvement of childhood ALL therapy is urgently needed. Pharmacogenomics aims to elucidate functionally relevant genomic determinants for drug disposition and response to improve drug therapy based on a patient’s genomic profile. Results from recent pharmacogenomic investigations including large-scale genome-wide analyses hold promise to improve ALL therapy in the near future.