Child Leukemia – Generalities, Symptoms and Treatment

Leukemia interferes with the body’s production of white blood cells. These cells are supposed to fight infections with viruses or bacteria, and when someone has leukemia, they are defective and their number is largely increased, but because they are not fulfilling their role any more, although their number can increase ten times the body’s defense system is seriously weakened and any infection can be very dangerous.

Unfortunately leukemia can affect young children too, and the number of child leukemia cases keeps increasing.

There are two types of leukemia – acute leukemia – a cancer that develops and evolves very fast and it affects all the white blood cells, and chronic leukemia – it develops slower and healthy white blood cells can still be found.

More than 95% of the child leukemia cases are acute leukemia. Acute leukemia can also be divided into acute acute myelogenous leukemia and lymphocytic leukemia acute myelogenous leukemia because there are two types of blood cells, and each type of leukemia affects a different kind of blood cells. More than half of the children with leukemia have acute lymphocytic leukemia.

The symptoms of acute leukemia start with fever, and continue with many infections, because the child is weak against any damaging foreign microorganisms.

When the disease advances the child becomes anemic and begins to have a pale color. He will always feel a sensation of weakness and fatigue which will prevent him from playing outdoors.

All leukemia patients, including children can be bruised very easy, and the often bleed for no reason. When bleeding occurs it cannot be stopped for a long time because leukemia affects the cells responsible for healing wounds.

If the illness is not discovered and it is left untreated it starts spreading through the body and it can reach the brain, affecting some of the senses and causing headaches.

In order to diagnose child leukemia the child must go through a series of special tests. If the result is positive then therapy must begin as soon as possible. First some new tests must be performed to determine what kind of therapy works best. In most cases chemotherapy is used because it has the highest survival rate. Chemotherapy is also accompanied by drugs.

The purpose of the therapy is to heal the bone marrow, the organ that produces the defective blood cells and to kill all the malfunctioning cells from the body. If the therapy is successful it must still be continued because the cancer can re-appear.

In some more severe cases a bone marrow transplant is needed.

The good news is that therapy is getting better and better and most of the children survive this illness, but the survival rate depends on how far the cancer has advanced and on what form of it the child has.

Coping With Leukemia Through Cord Blood Treatment

Do you suffer leukemia? It will be your good news then. You can have a good and effective treatment through cord blood. This blood is considered as the strong source for stem cells. Stem cells are obtained from embryos. Yet, the treatment using this kind of cell is the right solution for some disorder such as leukemia.

Stem cells have the ability to replicate themselves to treat, repair, and also cure the damaged cells by some diseases including leukemia. Historically, the treatment by using this type of cell was formerly completed in 1988. Yet, the general public could access this procedure in 1995. Today, you are able to meet cold blood banking for storing the stem cells as well as cord blood.

Cord blood will be the right answer for some diseases. On June 2009, this blood was believed to be able to treat eighty diseases. It is a potential treatment for patients with leukemia, specifically for those who have no acceptable source for bone narrow transplant.

Then, how to use this cord blood as the treatment for leukemia? The process of the treatment begins when the blood is obtained from the giving birth mother. The patient is then given regular chemotherapy and followed by the high-dose chemotherapy. It is able to kill either normal or cancer-producing blood cells of the bone marrow. Since stem cell is able to kill the previous cells, it will replicate and replace for new cells.

Furthermore, the real transplantation happens when the patient is injected with the stem cells. They are able to take over the new white blood cells creation of around 10 up to 14 days so that the production of your blood will gradually return to normal. In addition, you can possibly need transfusions of some substances such as platelets and red blood cells since they are not able to reproduce on their own.

Cord blood can be easily collected right after the birth. In order to keep it sterilized, it is then cryogenically stored either in a public or private bank until it is needed for transplant. In addition, this blood can be stored for indefinite time until it is needed for the treatment.

Leukemia – Treatment Breakthroughs For Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Recently released news from a U.S. pharmaceutical company stunned the market when they revealed that they had trialed a new drug that may help in the fight against chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). About one month ago “Ibrutinib,” a new orally taken drug that is said to be different from traditional chemotherapy treatments by targeting specific processes and preventing tumor metastasis (spread) was announced.

It is said to work by binding to the B-cells (cells that produce antibodies) while not affecting the T-cells (cells that destroy invading pathogens [microorganisms] with perforins [a protein produced by killer cells of the immune system that causes disintegration] and granules [a small particle]).

When chemotherapy is given to a patient, usually it has the effect of causing the T-cells a great deal of damage. Because of this, the side-effects a cancer patient experiences can be quite severe. However, because Ibrutinib does not affect these vitally import T-cells, the adverse side-effects are significantly reduced.

Treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia is considered to be literally lifesaving. So such an important announcement has gathered an awful lot of interest from both researchers and physicians alike. Studies have been impressive, with the results astounding those involved.

One particular study showed where two different groups were trialed with Ibrutinib, one group (81% of patients) was given a 420 mg dose (considered a low dosage), and another group (40% of patients) was given a 840 mg dose (considered a high dosage), the results were unbelievable. These two groups accounted for 74% of all the CLL sufferers involved in the trials. Further more, the trials showed that nearly 90% of patients showed a 50% reduction in lymph nodes.

The trials carried out on the CLL patients themselves has their challenges, as chronic lymphocytic leukemia is in general a very difficult disease to treat at the best of times. Over 40% of patients involved in these trials who had previously been given at least three prior treatments involving chemotherapy and other drugs, had suffered a relapse. Other challenges were age, as over 20% of the patients were over 70 years old.

To sum this up, Ibrutinib showed, and is still showing amazing results, as nearly 80% of those who were trialed are still taking the drug today, and who are showing a 90% response rate. Over 13% of patients have been able to achieve a complete response, and a minority of 3% have been declared in remission and who will be continually monitored in the future. It certainly seems that Ibrutinib has a future!