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Encyclopedia > Leukemia
Leukaemia
Classification & external resources
A Wright's stained bone marrow aspirate smear of patient with precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
ICD-10 C91.-C95.
ICD-9 208.9
ICD-O: 9800-9940
DiseasesDB 7431
MeSH D007938

Leukemia or leukaemia (Greek leukos λευκός, "white"; aima αίμα, "blood") is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). It is part of the broad group of diseases called hematological neoplasms. Image File history File links Acute_leukemia-ALL.jpg‎ A Wrights stained bone marrow aspirate smear of patient with precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. ... The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (most commonly known by the abbreviation ICD) provides codes to classify diseases and a wide variety of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or disease. ... The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) is a coding of diseases and signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or diseases, as classified by the World Health Organization (WHO). ... // C00-D48 - Neoplasms (C00-C14) Malignant neoplasms, lip, oral cavity and pharynx (C00) Malignant neoplasm of lip (C01) Malignant neoplasm of base of tongue (C02) Malignant neoplasm of other and unspecified parts of tongue (C03) Malignant neoplasm of gum (C04) Malignant neoplasm of floor of mouth (C05) Malignant neoplasm of... // C00-D48 - Neoplasms (C00-C14) Malignant neoplasms, lip, oral cavity and pharynx (C00) Malignant neoplasm of lip (C01) Malignant neoplasm of base of tongue (C02) Malignant neoplasm of other and unspecified parts of tongue (C03) Malignant neoplasm of gum (C04) Malignant neoplasm of floor of mouth (C05) Malignant neoplasm of... The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (most commonly known by the abbreviation ICD) provides codes to classify diseases and a wide variety of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or disease. ... The following is a list of codes for International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. ... The International Classification of Diseases for Oncology (ICD-O) is a domain specific extension of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems for tumor diseases. ... The Disease Bold textDatabase is a free website that provides information about the relationships between medical conditions, symptoms, and medications. ... Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is a huge controlled vocabulary (or metadata system) for the purpose of indexing journal articles and books in the life sciences. ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis (where cancer cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system). ... For other uses, see Blood (disambiguation). ... For the Dir en grey album, see The Marrow of a Bone. ... Drawing of the structure of cork as it appeared under the microscope to Robert Hooke from Micrographia which is the origin of the word cell being used to describe the smallest unit of a living organism Cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green) The cell is the... White Blood Cells is also the name of a White Stripes album. ... Although hematological malignancies are a form of cancer, they are generally treated by specialists in hematology, although in many hospitals oncology specialists also manage these diseases. ...

Contents

Classification

Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases.


Leukemia is clinically and pathologically split into its acute and chronic forms. In medicine, an acute disease is a disease with either or both of: a rapid onset; a short course (as opposed to a chronic course). ... In medicine, a chronic disease is a disease that is long-lasting or recurrent. ...

  • Acute leukemia is characterized by the rapid increase of immature blood cells. This crowding makes the bone marrow unable to produce healthy blood cells. Acute forms of leukemia can occur in children and young adults. (In fact, it is a more common cause of death for children in the US than any other type of malignant disease). Immediate treatment is required in acute leukemias due to the rapid progression and accumulation of the malignant cells, which then spill over into the bloodstream and spread to other organs of the body. Central nervous system (CNS) involvement is uncommon, although the disease can occasionally cause cranial nerve palsies.
  • Chronic leukemia is distinguished by the excessive build up of relatively mature, but still abnormal, blood cells. Typically taking months to years to progress, the cells are produced at a much higher rate than normal cells, resulting in many abnormal white blood cells in the blood. Chronic leukemia mostly occurs in older people, but can theoretically occur in any age group. Whereas acute leukemia must be treated immediately, chronic forms are sometimes monitored for some time before treatment to ensure maximum effectiveness of therapy. Chronic therapy runs more slowly through your body.

Furthermore, the diseases are classified into lymphoblastic or lymphocytic leukemias, which indicate that the cancerous change took place in a type of marrow cell that normally goes on to form lymphocytes, and myeloid or myelogenous leukemias, which indicate that the cancerous change took place in a type of marrow cell that normally goes on to form red cells, some types of white cells, and platelets. Acute leukemia may refer to: Acute myelogenous leukemia Acute lymphocytic leukemia Blast crisis of chronic myelogenous leukemia This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... For other uses of terms redirecting here, see US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation) Motto In God We Trust(since 1956) (From Many, One; Latin, traditional) Anthem The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City National language English (de facto)1 Demonym American... Chronic leukemia may refer to: Chronic myelogenous leukemia Chronic lymphocytic leukemia Hairy cell leukemia Category: ... Lymphoid leukaemia can refer to: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia Chronic lymphocytic leukemia Category: Disambiguation ... A scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of a single human lymphocyte. ... Myeloid leukaemia can refer to: Acute myelogenous leukemia Chronic myelogenous leukemia Category: Disambiguation ... Sketch of bone marrow and its cells Pluripotential hemopoietic stem cells or pluripotential hematopoietic stem cells (PHSCs) are stem cells found in the bone marrow. ... A 250 ml bag of newly collected platelets. ...


Combining these two classifications provides a total of four main categories:

Four major kinds of leukemia
Cell type Acute Chronic
Lymphocytic leukemia
(or "lymphoblastic")
Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
Myelogenous leukemia
(also "myeloid" or "nonlymphocytic")
Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)

Within these main categories, there are typically several subcategories. Types outside these main categories include hairy cell leukemia. Acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL), also known as acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is a cancer of the white blood cells, characterised by the overproduction and continuous multiplication of malignant and immature white blood cells (referred to as lymphoblasts) in the bone marrow. ... Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (also known as chronic lymphoid leukemia or CLL), is a type of leukemia, or cancer of the white blood cells (lymphocytes). ... Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as acute myelogenous leukemia, is a cancer of the myeloid line of white blood cells, characterized by the rapid proliferation of abnormal cells which accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. ... Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a form of chronic leukemia characterized by increased and unregulated clonal production of predominantly myeloid cells in the bone marrow. ... Hairy cell leukemia is a B cell neoplasm. ...

Comparison of leukemia types
Type Occurrence 5-year survival rate Overall treatment
Acute lymphocytic leukemia Most common type of leukemia in young children. This disease also affects adults, especially those age 65 and older. 85% in children and 50% in adults[1] Bone marrow and systemic disease control, prevention of spreading, e.g. to CNS
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia Most often affects adults over the age of 55. It sometimes occurs in younger adults, but it almost never affects children. ⅔ of affected are men. 75%[2] Incurable
Acute myelogenous leukemia Occurs more commonly in adults than in children, and more commonly in men than women. 40% [3] Bone marrow and systemic disease control, specific treatment of CNS, if involved
Chronic myelogenous leukemia Occurs mainly in adults. A very small number of children also develop this disease. 90% [4][5]
Hairy cell leukemia About 80% of affected people are adult men. No reported cases in young children. 96% to 100% at ten years[6] Incurable, but easily treatable

In biostatistics, survival rate is a part of the the survival analysis, indicating the percentage of people in a study or treatment group who are alive for a given period of time after diagnosis. ... A diagram showing the CNS: 1. ... A diagram showing the CNS: 1. ...

Symptoms

Damage to the bone marrow, by way of displacing the normal bone marrow cells with higher numbers of immature white blood cells, results in a lack of blood platelets, which are important in the blood clotting process. This means people with leukemia may become bruised, bleed excessively, or develop pinprick bleeds (petechiae). A 250 ml bag of newly collected platelets. ... The coagulation of blood is a complex process during which blood forms solid clots. ... Purple discolorations on the skin caused by bleeding underneath the skin. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... minor Petechia A petechia (IPA pronunciation: ), plural petechiae (IPA pronunciation: ) is a small red or purple spot on the body, caused by a minor hemorrhage (broken capillary blood vessels). ...


White blood cells, which are involved in fighting pathogens, may be suppressed or dysfunctional. This could cause the patient's immune system to be unable to fight off a simple infection or to start attacking other body cells. White Blood Cells redirects here. ... A pathogen (from Greek pathos, suffering/emotion, and gene, to give birth to), infectious agent, or more commonly germ, is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host. ...


Finally, the red blood cell deficiency leads to anemia, which may cause dyspnea. All symptoms can be attributed to other diseases; for diagnosis, blood tests and a bone marrow examination are required. This article discusses the medical condition. ... Dyspnea (R06. ... In general, diagnosis (plural diagnoses) has two distinct dictionary definitions. ... Blood tests are laboratory tests done on blood to gain an appreciation of disease states and the function of organs. ... A bone marrow biopsy is a medical procedure used as part of a test in the diagnosis of several conditions including leukemia. ...


Some other related symptoms:

  • Fever, chills, night sweats and other flu-like symptoms
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Neurological symptoms (headaches)
  • Enlarged liver and spleen
  • Frequent infection
  • Bone pain
  • Joint pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Diarrhea
  • Paleness
  • Malaise
  • Weight loss


The word leukemia, which means 'white blood', is derived from the disease's namesake high white blood cell counts that most leukemia patients have before treatment. The high number of white blood cells are apparent when a blood sample is viewed under a microscope. Frequently, these extra white blood cells are immature or dysfunctional. The excessive number of cells can also interfere with the level of other cells, causing a harmful imbalance in the blood count. A headache (cephalgia in medical terminology) is a condition of pain in the head; sometimes neck or upper back pain may also be interpreted as a headache. ... The liver is the largest internal organ in the human body, and is an organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. ... The spleen is an organ located in the abdomen, where it functions in the destruction of old red blood cells and holding a reservoir of blood. ... Diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea (see spelling differences), is a condition in which the sufferer has frequent watery, loose bowel movements (from the Greek word διάρροια; literally meaning through-flowing). Acute infectious diarrhea is a common cause of death in developing countries (particularly among infants), accounting for 5 to 8 million deaths...


Some leukemia patients do not have high white blood cell counts visible during a regular blood count. This less-common condition is called aleukemia. The bone marrow still contains cancerous white blood cells which disrupt the normal production of blood cells. However, the leukemic cells are staying in the marrow instead of entering the bloodstream, where they would be visible in a blood test. For an aleukemic patient, the white blood cell counts in the bloodstream can be normal or low. Aleukemia can occur in any of the four major types of leukemia, and is particularly common in hairy cell leukemia. Hairy cell leukemia is a B cell neoplasm. ...


Causes and risk factors

There is no single known cause for all of the different types of leukemia. The different leukemias likely have different causes, and very little is certain about what causes them. Researchers have strong suspicions about four possible causes:

  • natural or artificial ionizing radiation
  • certain kinds of chemicals
  • some viruses
  • genetic predispositions

Leukemia, like other cancers, results from somatic mutations in the DNA which activate oncogenes or deactivate tumor suppressor genes, and disrupt the regulation of cell death, differentiation or division. These mutations may occur spontaneously or as a of exposure to radiation or carcinogenic substances and are likely to be influenced by genetic factors. Cohort and case-control studies have linked exposure to petrochemicals, such as benzene, and hair dyes to the development of some forms of leukemia. Mutations are permanent, sometimes transmissible (if the change is to a germ cell) changes to the genetic material (usually DNA or RNA) of a cell. ... The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a nucleic acid molecule that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. ... An oncogene is a modified gene that increases the malignancy of a tumor cell. ... A tumor suppressor gene is a gene that reduces the probability that a cell in a multicellular organism will turn into a tumor cell. ... Radiation hazard symbol. ... Look up carcinogen in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A petrochemical is any chemical derived from fossil fuel. ... For benzine, see petroleum ether. ... Ashlie from Lizzie McGuire, with green hair Hair coloring products generally fall into four categories: temporary, semipermanent, deposit only/demi, and permanent. ...


Viruses have also been linked to some forms of leukemia. For example, certain cases of ALL are associated with viral infections by either the human immunodeficiency virus or human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV-1 and -2, causing adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma). A common alternate meaning of virus is computer virus. ... The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a frequently mutating retrovirus that attacks the human immune system and which has been shown to cause acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). ... Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) is a human, single-stranded RNA retrovirus that causes T-cell leukemia and T-cell lymphoma in adults and may also be involved in certain demyelinating diseases, including tropical spastic paraparesis. ... Human T cell leukemia/lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is believed to be the cause of several diseases, including adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL), a rare cancer of the immune systems own T-cells. ...


Fanconi anemia is also a risk factor for developing acute myelogenous leukemia. Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetic disease that affects children and adults from all ethnic backgrounds. ... Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as acute myelogenous leukemia, is a cancer of the myeloid line of white blood cells, characterized by the rapid proliferation of abnormal cells which accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. ...


Until the cause or causes of leukemia are found, there is no way to prevent the disease. Even when the causes become known, they may not be readily controllable, such as naturally occurring background radiation, and therefore not especially helpful for prevention purposes.


Treatment options for leukemia by type

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

Further information: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia#Treatment

Proper management of ALL focuses on control of bone marrow and systemic (whole-body) disease as well as prevention of cancer at other sites, particularly the central nervous system (CNS). In general, ALL treatment is divided into several phases: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), also known as acute lymphocytic leukemia, is a form of leukemia, characterised by the overproduction and continuous multiplication of malignant and immature white blood cells (also known as lymphoblasts) in the bone marrow. ...


Induction chemotherapy to bring about remission - that is, leukemic cells are no longer found in bone marrow samples. For adult ALL, standard induction plans include prednisone, vincristine, and an anthracycline drug; other drug plans may include L-asparaginase or cyclophosphamide. For children with low-risk ALL, standard therapy usually consists of three drugs (prednisone, L-asparaginase, and vincristine) for the first month of treatment. Consolidation therapy (1-3 months in adults; 4-8 months in children) to eliminate any leukemia cells that are still "hiding" within the body. A combination of chemotherapeutic drugs is used to keep the remaining leukemia cells from developing resistance. Patients with low- to average-risk ALL receive therapy with antimetabolite drugs such as methotrexate and 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP). High-risk patients receive higher drug doses plus treatment with extra chemotherapeutic agents.


CNS prophylaxis (preventive therapy) to stop the cancer from spreading to the brain and nervous system. Standard prophylaxis may consist of:

  1. Cranial (head) irradiation plus spinal tap or intrathecal (IT) delivery (into the space around the spinal cord and brain) of the drug methotrexate.
  2. High-dose systemic and IT methotrexate, without cranial irradiation
  3. IT chemotherapy.

Only children with T-cell leukemia, a high white blood cell count, or leukemia cells in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) need to receive cranial irradiation as well as IT therapy.


Maintenance treatments with chemotherapeutic drugs (e.g., prednisone + vincristine + cyclophosphamide + doxorubicin; methotrexate + 6-MP) to prevent disease recurrence once remission has been achieved. Maintenance therapy usually involves drug doses that are lower than those administered during the induction phase. In children, an intensive 6-month treatment program is needed after induction, followed by 2 years of maintenance chemotherapy. High-risk children may receive these drugs plus an anthracycline such as daunorubicin.


Follow-up therapy for ALL patients usually consists of:

  • supportive care, such as intravenous nutrition and treatment with oral antibiotics (e.g., ofloxacin, rifampin), especially in patients with prolonged granulocytopenia; that is, too few mature granulocytes (neutrophils), the bacteria-destroying white blood cells that contain small particles, or granules (< 100 granulocytes per cubic millimeter for 2 weeks)
  • transfusions with red blood cells and platelets

A laboratory test known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is advisable for ALL patients, since it may help to identify specific genetic abnormalities. Such abnormalities have a large impact upon prognosis and, consequently, treatment plans. PCR testing is especially important for patients whose disease is B-cell in type. B-cell ALL usually is not cured by standard ALL therapy. Instead, higher response rates are achieved with the aggressive, cyclophosphamide-based regimens that are used for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. “PCR” redirects here. ...


Because these patients have a worse prognosis than other individuals with ALL, many oncologists recommend allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (alloBMT), since remission may be brief following conventional ALL chemotherapy.


People who receive bone marrow transplantation will require protective isolation in the hospital, including filtered air, sterile food, and sterilization of the microorganisms in the gut, until their total white blood cell (WBC) count is above 500.


Recurrent ALL patients usually do not benefit from additional chemotherapy alone. If possible, they should receive re-induction chemotherapy, followed by allogeneic bone marrow transplant (alloBMT).


Alternatively, patients with recurrent ALL may benefit from participation in new clinical trials of alloBMT, immune system agents, and chemotherapeutic agents, or low-dose radiotherapy, if the cancer recurs throughout the body or CNS.


Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

Further information: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia#Treatment

CLL is probably incurable by present treatments. But, fortunately, a large group of CLL patients do not require therapy. Studies suggest that people with Stage A CLL (that is, individuals who have fewer than three areas of enlarged lymphoid tissue) do not benefit from early treatment. They may, in fact, suffer drawbacks because of it. Therefore, most oncologists base CLL treatment upon both the stage and symptoms of the patient. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (also known as chronic lymphoid leukemia or CLL), is a type of leukemia, or cancer of the white blood cells (lymphocytes). ...


For example, in older patients (60+ years) who have low-risk early stage disease (Rai Stage 0) a conservative "watch and wait" approach may be taken.


By contrast, older individuals with CLL-related complications or more advanced disease (Rai Stage III or IV) may benefit from chemotherapy and treatment with a corticosteroid (e.g., prednisone, prednisolone).


Corticosteroids are first-line agents for people in whom the immune systems has been altered by CLL. CLL may cause autoimmune syndromes in which the patient's immune system attacks and destroys his or her own blood cells. When the red blood cells are affected, the condition is known as immunohemolytic anemia, characterized by decreased numbers of red blood cells, which may cause fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath. When the blood platelets are affected, it is called immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, in which a decreased numbers of platelets may lead to bleeding.


For younger patients who are experiencing symptoms, the physician may consider early chemotherapy, plus allogeneic or autologous bone marrow transplantation (alloBMT; autoBMT).


In general, the indications for treatment are:

  • falling hemoglobin or platelet count
  • progression to a later stage of disease
  • painful, disease-related overgrowth of lymph nodes or spleen
  • lymphocyte doubling time (an indicator of lymphocyte reproduction) of fewer than 12 months

Transformation of CLL to high-grade disease or aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

If the patient experiences blood flow problems caused by high numbers of leukemia cells in the circulation, the physician may recommend leukapheresis, also known as apheresis, to separate out white blood cells, prior to chemotherapy. Symptoms that are related to enlargement of the lymph nodes in one area or an overgrown spleen may be treated by localized, low-dose radiotherapy, or surgical management by splenectomy (removal of the spleen). But if leukemia has invaded the lymph nodes at many different sites, total body irradiation (TBI) may be needed


Chemotherapy for CLL

The chemotherapeutic plans that are used most often for CLL are:

  • combination chemotherapy with chlorambucil (Leukeran®) or cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®) plus a corticosteroid drug such as prednisone, or
  • single-agent treatments with nucleoside drugs such as fludarabine, pentostatin, or cladribine (2-chlorodeoxyadenisine; 2-CDA). However, such drugs usually are reserved for cases in which CLL is resistant (unresponsive to treatment) or returns after chemotherapy with chlorambucil or cyclophosphamide.

People with intermediate or advanced disease may be helped by participation in a clinical trial. At the present time, clinical trials are being conducted using immunologic compounds (e.g., interferons, monoclonal antibodies) as well as new chemotherapeutic agents (e.g., bryostatin, dolastatin 10, and PSC 83 - a cyclosporine drug given with chemotherapy to overcome drug resistance).


Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)

Further information: Acute myeloid leukemia#Treatment

It is most common for adults; more men than women are affected. Many different chemotherapeutic plans are available for the treatment of AML. Overall, the strategy is to control bone marrow and systemic (whole-body) disease while offering specific treatment for the central nervous system (CNS), if involved. In general, most oncologists rely on combinations of drugs for the initial, induction phase of chemotherapy. Such combination chemotherapy usually offers the benefits of early remission (lessening of the disease) and a lower risk of disease resistance. Consolidation or "maintenance" treatments may be given to prevent disease recurrence once remission has been achieved. Consolidation treatment often entails a repetition of induction chemotherapy or the intensification chemotherapy with added drugs. By contrast, maintenance treatment involves drug doses that are lower than those administered during the induction phase. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as acute myelogenous leukemia, is a cancer of the myeloid line of white blood cells, characterized by the rapid proliferation of abnormal cells which accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. ...


In addition, specific treatment plans may be used, depending on the type of leukemia that has been diagnosed. Whatever the plan, it is important for the patient to understand the treatment that is being given and the decision-making process behind the choice.


Initial treatment of AML

Initial treatment of AML usually begins with induction chemotherapy using a combination of drugs such as daunorubicin (DNR), cytarabine (ara-C), idarubicin, thioguanine, etoposide, or mitoxantrone, anabolic steroids. Daunorubicin or daunomycin (daunomycin cerubidine) is chemotherapy of the anthracycline family that is given as a treatment for some types of cancer. ... DNR is a TLA with more than one meaning: do not resuscitate, a medical instruction Department of Natural Resources, a government entity charged with managing wildlife, mineral, and other natural resources for that government. ... Cytarabine is a shortened form of cytosine arabinoside, a commonly used chemotherapy agent used mainly in the treatment of leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. ... Cytarabine is a shortened form of cytosine arabinoside, a commonly used chemotherapy agent used mainly in the treatment of leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. ... Idarubicin chemical structure Idarubicin or 4-demethoxydaunorubicin is an anthracycline drug that is used in the treatment of cancer. ... Tioguanine (INN), formerly Thioguanine (BAN), is a drug that is used in the treatment of cancer. ... Etoposide phosphate (Eposin®, Etopophos®, Vepesid®, VP-16®) is an inhibitor of the enzyme topoisomerase II. It is used as a form of chemotherapy for malignancies such as lung cancer, testicular cancer, lymphoma, non-lymphocytic leukemia, and glioblastoma multiforme. ... Mitoxantrone belongs to the general group of medicines known as antineoplastics, specifically the anthracycline class. ... In chemistry and biology, Steroids are a type of lipid, characterized by a carbon skeleton with four fused rings. ...


Follow-up treatment

Follow-up therapy for such patients may involve:

  • supportive care, such as intravenous nutrition and treatment with oral antibiotics (e.g., ofloxacin, rifampin), especially in patients who have prolonged granulocytopenia; that is too few mature granulocytes (neutrophils), the bacteria-destroying white blood cells that contain small particles, or granules (< 100 granulocytes per cubic millimeter for 2 weeks)
  • injection with colony-stimulating factors such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), which may help to shorten the period of granulocytopenia that results from induction therapy
  • transfusions with red blood cells and platelets

Patients with newly diagnosed disease also may be considered for stem cell transplantation (SCT), either from the bone marrow or other sources. Allogeneic bone marrow transplant (alloBMT) is reserved primarily for patients under 55 years of age who have a compatible family donor. Approximately half of newly diagnosed AML patients are in this age group, with 75% achieving a complete remission (CR) after induction and consolidation therapy. Allogeneic bone marrow transplant is available for about 15% of all patients with AML. Unfortunately, it is estimated that only 7% of all AML patients will be cured using this procedure. An allograft or allogeneic transplant refers to when transplanted cells, tissues or organs are sourced from a genetically non-identical member of the same species. ... An allograft or allogeneic transplant refers to when transplanted cells, tissues or organs are sourced from a genetically non-identical member of the same species. ...


People who receive stem cell transplantation (SCT, alloBMT) require protective isolation in the hospital, including filtered air, sterile food, and sterilization of the microorganisms in the gut, until their total white blood cell (WBC) count is above 500.


Treatment of central nervous system leukemia, if present, may involve injection of chemotherapeutic drugs (e.g., cytarabine or ara-C, methotrexate) into the areas around the brain and spinal cord.


Consolidation or maintenance therapy

Once the patient is in remission, he or she will receive consolidation or maintenance therapy, for example, consolidation therapy with high-dose ara-C (HDAC) with/without anthracycline drugs).


If, however, the AML patient has resistant disease (about 15%) or relapses (about 70%), second remissions sometimes are achieved by treating them with:

  • conventional induction chemotherapy
  • high-dose ara-C (HDAC), with/without other drugs
  • etoposide or other single chemotherapeutic agents

Elderly AML patients have special treatment concerns. They may be less able to tolerate the septicemia (blood poisoning) associated with granulocytopenia, and they often have higher rates of myelodysplastic ('preleukemia') syndrome (MDS). Individuals who are over age 75 or who have significant medical conditions can be treated effectively with low-dose ara-C. High-dose post-induction chemotherapy is unlikely to be tolerated by elderly patients.


Until recently, the treatment plans and responses of children with AML did not differ much from those of adults. Yet new, more intensive induction and consolidation treatments have resulted in higher remission rates and prolonged survivals. Many induction trials have produced good results using combinations of cytarabine (ara-C) plus an anthracycline (e.g., daunorubicin, doxorubicin). In children under 3 years of age, the anthracycline used for induction should be chosen with care, since doxorubicin produces more toxicity and related deaths than daunorubicin.


Consolidation therapy is complex, but it should include at least two courses of high-dose ara-C (HDAC). Children who have hyperleukocytosis (too many white blood cells), especially monocytic M5 leukemia, have a poor prognosis.


Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)

Further information: Chronic myelogenous leukemia#Treatment

The challenge of treating newly diagnosed CML is to determine the best overall strategy to control the disease. General strategies for management include a variety of options: Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a form of chronic leukemia characterized by increased and unregulated clonal production of predominantly myeloid cells in the bone marrow. ...


Leukapheresis, also known as a peripheral blood stem cell transplant, with stem cell cryopreservation (frozen storage) prior to any other treatment. The patient's blood is passed through a machine that removes the stem cells and then returns the blood to the patient. Leukapheresis usually takes 3 or 4 hours to complete. The stem cells may or may not be treated with drugs to kill any cancer cells. The stem cells then are stored until they are transplanted back into the patient.


HLA (human leukocyte antigen) typing of all patients under age 60, as well as typing of siblings, parents, and children, if available. This procedure will determine whether a compatible donor is available for stem cell transplantation.


Pre-treatment fertility measures (e.g., cryopreservation of semen prior to treatment; completion of a pregnancy prior to treatment) in young patients who have not completed their families.


Interferon-alpha (INF-a) therapy'.


Chemotherapy with drugs such as hydroxyurea (Hydrea®), busulfan (Myleran®) or imatinib mesylate (Gleevec(tm)). Imatinib mesylate (or simply imatinib) is a new drug used to treat certain types of cancer. ...


In general, CML treatment options are divided into two groups: those that do not increase survival and those that do. Chemotherapeutic drugs such as hydroxyurea (Hydrea®) and busulfan (Myleran®) can normalize the blood count for a period of time, but they do not increase survival. They often are used to control blood counts in patients who cannot undergo SCT or who do not respond to interferon therapy because of age or medical considerations.


Gleevec, is one of a new class of cancer drugs that disables an abnormal enzyme in the cancerous cell, kills it, but leaves healthy cells virtually untouched. Other cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy, attack healthy cells as well as cancer cells, leaving patients with unpleasant and often severe side effects. Imatinib mesylate (or simply imatinib) is a new drug used to treat certain types of cancer. ...


In June of 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor dasatinib (Sprycel(tm)) to treat CML that does not respond to other therapy.


One treatment that does impact on CML survival is allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, the use of high dose chemotherapy and radiation followed by infusion of a donor bone marrow. This procedure removes the chromosomal abnormality in a large percentage of patients and for them is curative. In addition, there is treatment with interferon (INF). About 20% to 30% of patients taking interferon show elimination of the abnormal chromosome and improved survival. Recent findings also suggest that low-dose cytarabine (ara-C), in combination with interferon, may be more beneficial than interferon alone. For patients who do not respond to interferon, autologous or allogeneic stem cell transplantation is the only alternative. An allograft or allogeneic transplant refers to when transplanted cells, tissues or organs are sourced from a genetically non-identical member of the same species. ...


Patients with advanced-phase disease may be treated with cytotoxic drugs. For example, individuals showing myeloid transformation may be given drugs that are used to induce remission in AML - that is, daunorubicin and cytarabine, with or without 6-thioguanine or etoposide. Blast cell numbers will be reduced temporarily, but they will increase again within 3 to 6 weeks. Individuals showing lymphoid transformation have a slightly better outlook. They are treated with drugs used in the management of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) - that is, prednisone, vincristine, and daunorubicin, with or without L-asparaginase.


New drugs that are being studied in clinical trials of CML include homoherringtonine with interferon-alpha (INF-a), paclitaxel (Taxol®), QS21 (a plant extract that heightens immune responses), and amifostin (a chemical that lessens some side effects of chemotherapy). In addition, clinical trials are evaluating the potential benefits of substances such as vaccines, monoclonal antibodies (immunologic substances that can direct the patient's immune system to kill cancer cells), and hormones (e.g., growth factors, interleukins).


Hairy Cell Leukemia (HCL)

Further information: Hairy cell leukemia#Treatment

Hairy cell leukemia is an incurable, indolent blood disorder in which mutated, partly matured B cells accumulate in the bone marrow. Its name is derived from the shape of the cells, which look like they are covered with short, fine, hair-shaped projections. Unlike any other leukemia, HCL is characterized by low white blood cell counts. Hairy cell leukemia is a B cell neoplasm. ...


Patients with hairy cell leukemia who are symptom-free typically do not receive immediate treatment. They engage in "watchful waiting" with routine bloodwork and exams every three to six months to monitor disease progression and identify any new symptoms.


Treatment is generally considered necessary when the patient shows signs and symptoms such as low blood cell counts (e.g., infection-fighting neutrophil count below 1.0 K/ul), frequent infections, unexplained bruises, anemia, or fatigue that is significant enough to disrupt the patient's everyday life.


Patients who need treatment, which includes most newly diagnosed HCL cases, usually receive either cladribine or pentostatin, which are both in a class of chemotherapeutic drugs known as purine analogs or nucleosides. In most cases, one round of treatment will produce a prolonged remission. Cladribine is a drug used to treat hairy cell leukemia (leukemic reticuloendotheliosis). ... Pentostatin (Deoxycoformycin) is an anticancer chemotherapeutic drug. ... Purine (1) is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound, consisting of a pyrimidine ring fused to an imidazole ring. ... Nucleosides are glycosylamines made by attaching a nucleobase (often reffered to simply as bases) to a ribose ring. ...


Other treatments include rituximab infusion or self-injection with Interferon-alpha. In limited cases, the patient may benefit from splenectomy (removal of the spleen). These treatments are not typically given as the first treatment for a new patient because their success rates are lower than cladribine or pentostatin. Rituximab, sold under the trade names Rituxan® and MabThera®, is a monoclonal antibody used in the treatment of B cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma, B cell leukemia, and some autoimmune disorders. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A splenectomy is a procedure that involves the removal of the spleen by operative means. ...


In the short term, especially when neutrophil counts are low, many patients also take antibiotics until their white blood cell counts have recovered to normal levels. An antibiotic is a drug that kills or slows the growth of bacteria. ...


Research

Significant research into the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of leukemia is being done. Hundreds of clinical trials are being planned or conducted at any given time. Studies may focus on effective means of treatment, better ways of treating the disease, improving the quality of life for patients, or appropriate care in remission or after cures. In medicine, a clinical trial (synonyms: clinical studies, research protocols, medical research) is a research study. ...


Incidence

As of 1998, it is estimated that each year, approximately 30,800 individuals will be diagnosed with leukemia in the United States and 21,700 individuals will die of the disease.[7]


See also

  • Hematologic diseases

References

  1. ^ Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 16th Edition, Chapter 97. Malignancies of Lymphoid Cells. Clinical Features, Treatment, and Prognosis of Specific Lymphoid Malignancies.
  2. ^ Finding Cancer Statistics » Cancer Stat Fact Sheets »Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia National Cancer Institute
  3. ^ Colvin GA, Elfenbein GJ (2003). "The latest treatment advances for acute myelogenous leukemia". Med Health R I 86 (8): 243–6. PMID 14582219. 
  4. ^ Patients with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Continue to Do Well on Imatinib at 5-Year Follow-Up Medscape Medical News 2006
  5. ^ Updated Results of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in CML ASCO 2006 Conference Summaries
  6. ^ Else M, Ruchlemer R, Osuji N, et al (2005). "Long remissions in hairy cell leukemia with purine analogs: a report of 219 patients with a median follow-up of 12.5 years". Cancer 104 (11): 2442–8. doi:10.1002/cncr.21447. PMID 16245328. 
  7. ^ Trends in leukemia incidence and survival in the United States (1973-1998)

Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis (where cancer cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system). ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ...

External links

Images of leukemias

Research organizations

A mast cell tumor is a type of tumor consisting of mast cells that is found in many species of animals. ... Mast-cell sarcoma is an aggressive[1] form of sarcoma of the mast cells. ... In medicine, mastocytosis is a group of rare disorders of both children and adults caused by the presence of too many mast cells (mastocytes) in a persons body. ... Malignant histiocytosis is a hereditary disease found in the Bernese Mountain Dog characterized by histiocytic infiltration of the lungs and lymph nodes. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Immunoproliferative disorders (or immunoproliferative diseases, or immunoproliferative neoplasms) are a group of conditions affecting the immune system where there is overproduction of immunoglobulins or pluripotential hemopoietic stem cell or by abnormal proliferation of primary cells. ... Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is cancer involving a subtype of white blood cells called lymphocytes. ... Lymphomatoid granulomatosis is a neoplastic disease. ... Lymphoid leukemia (or lymphocytic leukemia) is a type of leukemia affecting lymphoid tissue. ... Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), also known as acute lymphocytic leukemia, is a form of leukemia, characterised by the overproduction and continuous multiplication of malignant and immature white blood cells (also known as lymphoblasts) in the bone marrow. ... Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (also known as chronic lymphoid leukemia or CLL), is a type of leukemia, or cancer of the white blood cells (lymphocytes). ... T-Cell Leukemia, or T-Cell ALL, Acute lymphocytic leukemiais a cancer of the lymphocyte-forming cells called lymphoblasts. ... Human T cell leukemia/lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is believed to be the cause of several diseases, including adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL), a rare cancer of the immune systems own T-cells. ... // Proliferation of large granular lymphocytes (LGLs), LGL leukemia, Tγ-lymphoproliferative disorder, T-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia[1] 9831/3[1] T-cell large granular lymphocyte leukemia is a disease that exhibits a unexplained, chronic (> 6 months) elevation in large granular lymphocytes (LGLs) in the peripheral blood. ... T-cell-prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) is a mature T-cell leukemia with aggressive behavior and predilection for blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and skin involvement. ... T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is a type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the lymphocyte-forming cells called lymphoblasts. ... B-cell leukemia describes several different types of lymphoid leukemia which affect B cells. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Leukemia. ... Myeloid leukaemia can refer to: Acute myelogenous leukemia Chronic myelogenous leukemia Category: Disambiguation ... Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as acute myelogenous leukemia, is a cancer of the myeloid line of white blood cells, characterized by the rapid proliferation of abnormal cells which accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into acute myeloid leukemia. ... Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), also known as acute myeloid leukemia, is a cancer of the myeloid line of white blood cells. ... Acute monocytic leukemia (AMoL, or AML-M5) is considered a type of acute myeloid leukemia. ... Erythroleukemia (or acute Di Guglielmo syndrome) is a rare form of acute myeloid leukemia where the myeloproliferation is of erythrocyte precursors. ... Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a form of chronic leukemia characterized by increased and unregulated clonal production of predominantly myeloid cells in the bone marrow. ... Chronic monocytic leukemia (CMoL) is a type of chronic myeloid leukemia characterized by a dominance of monocytes in the marrow. ... Chronic neutrophilic leukemia (CNL) is a rare myeloproliferative disorder that features a persistent neutrophilia in peripheral blood, myeloid hyperplasia in bone marrow, hepatosplenomegaly, and the absence of the Philadelphia chromosome or a BCR/ABL fusion gene. ... Philadelphia chromosome or Philadelphia translocation is a specific genetic, chromosomal abnormality that is associated with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and involves an exchange of material between chromosomes 9 and 22. ... A chloroma, or granulocytic sarcoma, or most appropriately, extramedullary myeloid tumor, is a solid tumor composed of immature malignant white blood cells called myeloblasts. ... Hairy cell leukemia is a B cell neoplasm. ... // Aggressive NK-cell leukemia/lymphoma, large granular lymphocyte leukemia, NK-cell type[1] 9948/3[1] Aggressive NK-cell leukemia is a disease with an aggressive, systemic proliferation of natural killer cells (NK cells) and a rapidly declining clinical course. ... The myeloproliferative diseases (MPDs) are a group of diseases of the bone marrow in which excess cells are produced. ... Primary polycythemia, often called polycythemia vera (PCV), polycythemia rubra vera (PRV), or erythremia, occurs when excess red blood cells are produced as a result of an abnormality of the bone marrow. ... Essential thrombocytosis (ET, also known as essential thrombocythemia) is a rare chronic blood disorder characterized by the overproduction of platelets by megakaryocytes in the bone marrow in the absence of an alternative cause. ... Myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia, also known as agnogenic myeloid metaplasia, chronic idiopathic myelofibrosis, and primary myelofibrosis,[1] was first described in 1879 and is currently classified as a myeloproliferative disease caused by the growth and proliferation of an abnormal bone marrow stem cell, resulting in the replacement of the bone... The hypereosinophilic syndrome is a disease process characterized by a persistently elevated eosinophil count (≥ 1500 eosinophils/mm³) in the blood for at least six months without any recognizable cause after a careful workup, with evidence of involvement of either the heart, nervous system, or bone marrow. ... Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is the name given to a group of B cell lymphomas occurring in immunosuppressed patients following organ transplant. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Leukemia Home Page - National Cancer Institute (250 words)
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of the white blood cells, the cells in the body that normally fight infections.
Definition of leukemia: Cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of blood cells to be produced and enter the bloodstream.
Estimated new cases and deaths from leukemia in the United States in 2007:
MedlinePlus: Leukemia, Adult Acute (338 words)
Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells.
In leukemia, however, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells.
In acute leukemia, the cells are very abnormal and their number increases rapidly.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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