The ways in which patients are affected and how patients are treated are different for each type of leukemia.
Each main type of leukemia has different subtypes. A patient's age, general health, and subtype may play a role in determining the best treatment plan. Blood tests and bone marrow tests are used to identify AML, ALL, CML, or CLL subtypes.
The Cancer Team at Miami Valley Hospital is experienced in treating patients with leukemia. The aim of leukemia treatment is to bring about a complete remission. Today, more and more leukemia patients are in complete remission at least five years after treatment.
Treatment for acute leukemia is usually chemotherapy.
For most patients, this means receiving drugs in three stages:
- Induction - The goal of this stage is remission. Remission is a period in which the leukemia cells have been destroyed and are replaced with healthy cells. Induction is done with high doses of powerful drugs which may be given over a period of time from about a week to a month, depending on the type of leukemia.
- Consolidation - The goal of consolidation is to kill any cancer cells that are left. Consolidation often involves the same drugs given in the induction stage, but the schedule and doses may be different. For example, you may receive the drugs in one- or two- 5-day cycles spread over one to three months.
- Maintenance - The goal of this stage is to prevent leukemia cells from growing back. During maintenance you are given lower doses of drugs over the course of two to three years
Leukemia treatments at MVH include:
Different factors help your doctor decide what specific treatment to use, including the type of leukemia you have, your past response to treatment, your age, and the status of your leukemia.
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