is leukemia treated?
some types of leukemia are harder to treat than others, leukemia
today has an average cure rate of 40%. Treatments may include:
is used to remove enlarged spleen caused by infiltration by
the hairy cells. Its enlargement will trap and destruct the
large numbers of normal blood cells. In addition, a large
spleen can cause great discomfort.
the body's immune system to fight off diseases. Scientists
have manipulated substances that stimulate the immune system
to fight off diseases more aggressively.
is the use of high-energy rays to kill malignant cells. This
type of treatment is best to treat diseases that are localized.
Marrow Transplantation (BMT)
is combined with chemotherapy to destroy leukemia bone marrow
cells with high doses of drugs. Healthy bone marrow cells
are then provided, by a donor, to stimulate new bone marrow
growth. The donor must have the same or very similar tissues
to that of the patient. BMT is individualized. It is a new
treatment for MDS patients. BMT has successfully treated patients
under the age of 50.
involves the use of powerful drugs in various combinations
to kill abnormal cells and/or slow their growth. Because
the drugs used in chemotherapy severely reduce the number
of red blood cells, phagocytes, and platelets. As a result,
anemia and infection occur. Chemotherapy affects tissues with
continuous cell division. This explains the presence of mouth
ulcers, diarrhea, and hair loss. In addition, nausea and vomiting
is administered in three phases:
In this phase, high dosage of drugs are used to cease the
DNA synthesis of leukemic cells and eventually wipe out all
existing leukemic cells in the marrow. Anthracyline antibiotic
and cytarabine are the drugs used in induction therapy.
this phase, all leukemic cells are destroyed. However, they
have the potential to regrow. Therefore, chemotherapy with
or without autologous stem cell infusion or allogenic stem
cell transplantation is advised.
Additional intensive therapy will be given to the patient
because residual leukemic cells cannot be detected. Factors
such as age, ability to tolerate treatment, cytogentic findings,
availability of a stem cell donor will influence the next
does the future hold for leukemia patients?
we speak, there are various experiments and research being conducted
worldwide that will shed some light on this illness and provide
new treatments for leukemia. One of them is the Human Genome
Project and its quest to map out the entire human genome. Scientists
will then know exactly where the gene for leukemia is carried
and how to affect change at the site of tranformation of malignant
cells into leukemic cells. The research continues and there
are reasons to expect new and better treatments for leukemia.
have found that stem cells will make transplantation easier.
In the future, stem cells can be frozen and stored for patients
who do not have related donors with similar tissue types.
the formation and finding of new drugs are done extensively.
These drugs must be tested and clinically trialed before they
can be used with patients. Researchers are looking for new
combinations of drugs for better use.
techniques of biotechnology will allow scientists to create
natural chemicals that can be used to help restore normal blood
cells to fight off leukemic cells more aggressively.