Ongoing Research in Leukemia & Lymphoma

Ongoing Research in Leukemia & Lymphoma

05.07.13 | By Preet Bilinski

Blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, can affect anyone, including children. Each year, nearly 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with a blood cancer—accounting for about 9 percent of all new cancer diagnoses according to the American Cancer Society.

Over the last few decades, significant progress in biopharmaceutical research and development has led to steady improvements in cancer survivorship rates in the U.S. In 1960-1963, the five-year survival rate for non-Hodgkin lymphoma was 40 percent, and for leukemia, just 14 percent. In 2001-2007, they had climbed to 86 percent and 57 percent respectively, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Nearly all of these gains were due to improvements in treatment.

While this progress is noteworthy, patients are counting on us to increase those survival rates.  Continuing to build on those gains, America’s biopharmaceutical research companies have 241 medicines in development for blood cancers. These medicines in the pipeline represent new approaches to treating blood cancers, with many using new mechanisms to attack the disease.  These medicines – all in clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – include:

  • 98 for lymphoma – including Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma – which impacts nearly 80,000 Americans each year.
  • 97 for leukemia, including the four major types, which affect nearly 50,000 people in the United States each year.
  • 52 for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, which affects more than 22,000 people each year in the United States.
  • 24 medicines targeting hematological malignancies, which affect bone marrow, blood and lymph nodes.

Hear more about the advancement in therapies for these conditions in this video featuring Dr. Rajesh Chopra, Corporate Vice President of Translational & Early Drug Development at Celgene.



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