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Ph-Positive ALL Therapy

Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs)

In addition to chemotherapy combinations, children with Philadelphia chromosomepositive (Ph+) ALL and Philadelphia chromosome-like (Ph-like) ALL are also given a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) medication.

Tyrosine kinases are enzymes that are a part of many cell functions including cell signaling, growth and division. These enzymes may become too active in patients with an ALL subtype called Philadelphia chromosome-positive ALL (Ph+ ALL).

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) work to block these overactive enzymes and may stop cancer cells from growing. TKIs are pills taken by mouth. They are generally not used alone to treat ALL. Instead, they are added to a combination chemotherapy regimen. The following TKIs have been approved to treat Ph+ ALL in children:

  • Imatinib (Gleevec®)
  • Dasatinib (Sprycel®)

Some children with Ph-like ALL may be treated with a TKI called ruxolitinib (Jakafi®), usually in a clinical trial.

For information about the drugs listed on this page, visit Drug Listings.

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