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Major Treatment Alternatives for Leukemia

January, 2019

Leukemia is a cancer that affects the bone marrow or blood and most likely the leukocytes. This disease presumably affects individuals of age 55 years and above, but is also common in children below the age of 15 years. In 2017, nearly 62,130 individuals are affected and about 24,500 deaths were assessed in the US. Following are the treatment options for the leukemia.


It is one of the extensively recommended leukemia therapy preferences. The technique kills the cancerous cells by using chemotherapeutics agents. Depending on the type of leukemia, either a single drug or a combination of drugs is prescribed to the patients.

Stem Cell Transplant

This technique is obtaining high interest in treating many diseases including leukemia because these stems cells have a capacity to repair, reinstate, and replace cancerous cell. A new population of healthy cells are transplanted to substitutes the unhealthy bone marrow. To achieve this, the individual is infused with blood forming stem cells into the affected bone marrow.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy involves the use of X-rays and other high-energy beams to kill leukemia cells. The radiation is directed at precise points of the patient’s body with high concentrations of damaged cells, or to the patient’s whole body itself. This procedure can be used to prepare for a stem cell therapy.

Targeted Therapy

The drugs are selected to precisely attack the cancerous cells to their vulnerabilities. Imatinib is one of the commonly prescribed drug to cease the protein activity in the cancer in patients suffering from chronic myelogenous leukemia, thus aiding the disease control.


This improves the natural defense mechanism of the patient’s body to fight against the cancerous cells. In this type, the monoclonal antibody is administered through an Intravenous infusion to bind the cancerous cells, thus eliminate the abnormal cells in the immune system.


Surgery is preferred mostly for the treatment of acute lymphocytic leukemia treatment. However, surgery shows a restricted but vital role. This is mainly done to help easy insertion of catheter into the person’s body for chemotherapy to access Intravenous drugs.

CAR T Cell Treatment

CAR-T cells also known as the chimeric antigen receptor T cell utilize the individual’s T lymphocytes to attack leukemia cells. The re-engineered lymphocytes are re-introduced into the patients’ bloodstream. This is the newest leukemia treatment option available, therefore many researches are on-going to determine if it can be beneficial for other leukemia types.

– Rikitha K Murthy,
Research Analyst,
Infoholic Research