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Blood Cancer Survival Rates Vary Across Europe: Study

First Posted: Jul 14, 2014 04:10 AM EDT
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The rate of survival of blood cancer patients in Europe varies due to quality of treatment, says a study.

The research, led by Dr Milena Sant from the Fondazione IRCCS institute Nazionale Dei Tumori in Milan, reports that over a span of  11 years,  survival  rate of most blood cancer has increased by 5 year .

The EUROCARE study analyzed data covering patients in the age group of 15-65 diagnosed with blood cancer in 20 European countries to compare the changes in 5 year. Approximately 560,400 adults were diagnosed with 11 lymphoid and myeloid cancers between 1997 and 2008.

In northern ,central and eastern Europe, the survival rate has improved but eastern Europe still continues to have the lowest survival rate compared to the other regions.

Doctors said in a press release that risk of death fell significantly for all malignancies except myelodsplastic syndrome within the study period, but not all regions saw similar improvements.

The improved numbers somewhat reflect the acceptance of the new drugs like Rituximab for non -Hodgkin lymphoma and Imatinib for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

Drugs like Rituximab , Imatinib, Thalidomide and Bortezomba  were made available in Europe between 1997 and 2003.These drugs increased the survival rate of chronic myeloid leukemia. They diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and follicular lymphoma ; a smaller but still significant survival increase for multiple myeloma plasmacytoma

According to Sant, "High resolution studies that use clinical records to collect detailed clinical information for representative samples of cancer registry cases can more directly link treatments and clinical characteristics to survival."

The study is available in the The Lancet Oncology journal

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