Options From an Oncologist for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment Marlton, NJ

Acute lymphocytic leukemia treatment comprises various methods, ranging in invasiveness. We determine the most effective method for you by assessing several factors, such as your age, cancer subtype, its stage, and what your body is able to handle. Take a look at the various treatment options our oncologist may employ to help get you into remission.

A Deep Dive into Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatments

Determining an effective acute lymphocytic leukemia treatment

We require all patients to undergo a consultation with our office to help us craft an effective acute lymphocytic leukemia treatment. This appointment may involve blood tests, urinalysis, bone marrow sampling, imaging, and spinal fluid tests.

With acute lymphocytic leukemia or cancer of any kind, timing is of the essence. Therefore, we want to ensure all bases are covered when crafting treatment plans. In addition to testing, we review the patient's medical history, medication use, symptoms, and severity. We also need to know if the patient lives with other medical conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

This appointment will take approximately one to two hours. We ask patients to arrive at their appointments at least 15 minutes beforehand to complete the necessary paperwork. They will also have a chance to get better acquainted with their new care team.

Potential Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatments

It is important to understand that while there are various treatment approaches, they all tend to last a minimum of two years, according to the American Cancer Society. Of course, every patient is different and will respond as such to each method. Therefore, no two treatment plans will look alike. The oncologist will employ one or multiple of the following acute lymphocytic leukemia treatments to build the patient's custom care plan.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is one of the most well-known cancer treatment options. Often referenced simply as chemo, this acute lymphocytic leukemia treatment delivers cancer-fighting drugs into the bloodstream in the form of pills, injections, or intravenous (IV). It is particularly beneficial for this type of cancer because it searches the body for all cancer cells instead of targeting a specific area or mass.

We generally divide chemotherapy into three phases: induction, consolidation, and maintenance. The induction phase is short and intensive, lasting approximately one month. The consolidation or intensification phase is equally intensive and lasts several months. Lastly, the maintenance or post-consolidation phase lasts approximately two years.

In the first two phases, patients may experience well-known side effects—hair loss, nausea, fatigue, appetite changes, mouth sores, and the like. They may also need to visit our office or the hospital more frequently during these periods. The last phase will be far less taxing on the body as patients will experience minimal side effects.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy uses drugs with materials from living organisms to jumpstart the immune system into working harder to identify and eliminate cancer cells. According to the Cancer Research Institute or CRI, immunotherapy can be delivered through antibodies, cancer vaccines, adoptive cell transfers, tumor-infecting viruses, checkpoint inhibitors, cytokines, and adjuvants. The side effects will vary depending on the delivery method, which the oncologist will review in more detail if this therapy is recommended.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy will rarely, if ever, be used as the sole acute lymphocytic leukemia treatment. It involves the patient sitting still while a machine delivers a high level of radiation to a specific part of the body. They will likely recommend it to patients whose disease has spread to the brain, spinal fluid, or testicles. Likewise, they will do so if they need to shrink a stubborn tumor pressing on the windpipe quickly. Lastly, they may suggest it can prepare the body for bone marrow treatment. This acute lymphocytic leukemia treatment also offers some side effects, including fatigue, skin changes, nausea, diarrhea, and headaches. If this is part of the patient's recommended treatment plan, the oncologist will review side effects and procedure steps in more detail.

Stem Cell Transplant

There are two main types of stem cell transplants: allogeneic and autologous. The former involves taking donor stem cells from another person or donor, while the latter involves the patient regenerating their own stem cells. The autologous treatment will be carefully considered if there is not an appropriate donor to perform the allogeneic transplant. That is because acute lymphocytic leukemia is a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. Therefore, it is possible for cancer cells to repopulate in the harvested stem cells.

Targeted Therapy

Like chemotherapy and immunotherapy, targeted therapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. However, instead of attacking and killing the entire cell, it only targets a portion. According to the American Cancer Society, one in four patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia have an abnormal chromosome called the Philadelphia chromosome. The Philadelphia chromosome creates a gene that, in turn, creates an abnormal protein that causes cancer cells to grow. Targeted therapy attacks these specific proteins, increasing the chances of remission.

Start your journey to remission

Acute lymphocytic leukemia treatment is available in the Marlton area. The Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center team is dedicated to helping you enter remission. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Request an appointment here: https://lindenbergcancer.com or call Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center at (856) 475-0876 for an appointment in our Marlton office.

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