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"Even though we can cure a large subset of children with T-ALL, about 25 percent of pediatric patients with the disease die of it, either because first-line chemotherapy fails, or because they relapse after being in remission for a year or two. Until now, there has been no way of determining ahead of time whether a patient is likely to be helped by the standard regimen of front-line drugs," said the study's lead author, Alejandro Gutierrez, a Harvard Medical School instructor in pediatrics at Dana-Farber.

Better odds

New test could predict best treatment for children with leukemia

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