Targeted therapies in leukemia make you smile

necdet-uskentLeukemia, which gives its name to a group of diseases that occur with the uncontrollable proliferation of white blood cells due to changes in the nuclei of the main cells that produce blood in the bone marrow, is divided into acute and chronic. Acute leukemia, which is mostly seen in children, is anemia, susceptibility to infection, microbial diseases and fever, bleeding gumsIt may present with symptoms of varying degrees of bleeding, such as nosebleeds and bruising on the skin.

Providing information about leukemia, the symptoms of which include frequent bruising on the skin or difficulty stopping bleeding when cuts occur, Prof. from Anadolu Medical Center Oncological Sciences Department. Dr. Necdet Üskent, “The patient also has weight loss, fever and sweating. Swelling is detected in the lymph nodes, and a feeling of bloating occurs in the abdomen due to enlargement of the spleen and liver. Symptoms such as weakness and pain in bones and joints in the early stages of the disease show parallelism with common complaints such as colds. Therefore, complaints may be overlooked.

Explaining that leukemia of unknown cause can develop due to environmental and genetic factors, Prof. Dr. Üskent said that petrochemicals, radiation, carcinogenic substances and some viruses may be among the causes of the disease. Stating that the disease was determined by the detection of enlargement in the liver, spleen or lymph nodes close to the skin in the first doctor’s examination, Prof. Dr. Üskent gave the following information: “Bone marrow biopsy, which is performed by examining samples taken from the bone marrow as well as blood tests, is an important step in the diagnosis of the disease. If it is deemed necessary for the diagnosis, a sample of the cerebrospinal fluid can also be taken with a needle inserted through the spinal cord space.

“Targeted therapies” do not require transplantation

losev-child-cancerStating that the treatment of leukemia differs according to the type of the disease and the needs of the patient, Prof. Dr. Üskent said, “The treatment is affected by the prevalence of the disease, as well as the age and general health of the patient. The vast majority of leukemia patients receive chemotherapy treatment. In chemotherapy treatment, a single drug can be used, or a combination of more than one drug can be applied. Referring to the use of drugs for the molecular disorder that causes leukemia in recent years, Prof. Dr. Üskent stated that these are called “targeted therapies”. Stating that these drugs, which are mostly used in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), the need for organ transplantation in this type of leukemia is almost completely eliminated. Dr. Üskent “Radiation therapy can also be applied, such as radiotherapy, in the treatment of leukemia. In this treatment method, which is mostly used in leukemias involving the brain, high-energy rays are directed to cancerous cells and the growth of cells is prevented. Stating that another treatment method for the disease is bone marrow transplantation, Prof. Dr. Üskent “In bone marrow transplantation, the bone marrow that causes leukemia is removed with high-dose drugs or radiation and replaced with a healthy bone marrow tissue. While healthy bone marrow can be obtained from a donor, in some patients, their own bone marrow can also be used.

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