leukemia symptoms, leukemia treatment and cure, early symptoms leukemia,
chronic leukemia
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LEUKEMIA JOURNAL
August 2011
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania engineered patients' own pathogen-fighting T-cells to target a molecule
found on the surface of leukemia cells. The altered T-cells were grown outside of the body and infused back into
patients suffering from late-stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Two participants in the trial have been in remission for
up to a year. A third had a strong anti-tumor response, and his cancer remains in check. [Gene therapy shown to
destroy leukemia tumors, Reuters, Aug 10, 2011]
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LEUKEMIA SYMPTOMS
Like all blood cells, leukemia cells travel through the body. The leukemia symptoms depend on the number of leukemia
cells and where these cells collect in the body. Thus, people with chronic leukemia may not have symptoms. The
doctor may find the disease during a routine blood test.

People with acute leukemia usually go to their doctor because they feel sick. If the brain is affected, they may have
headaches, vomiting, confusion, loss of muscle control, or seizures. Leukemia also can affect other parts of the body
such as the digestive tract, kidneys, lungs, heart, or testes.

Common acute or chronic leukemia symptoms may include:

* Swollen lymph nodes that usually don't hurt (especially lymph nodes in the neck or armpit)
* Fevers or night sweats
* Frequent infections
* Feeling weak or tired
* Bleeding and bruising easily (bleeding gums, purplish patches in the skin, or tiny red spots under the skin)
* Swelling or discomfort in the abdomen (from a swollen spleen or liver)
* Weight loss for no known reason
* Pain in the bones or joints

Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. An infection or other health problems may also cause these
symptoms. Only a doctor can tell for sure. Anyone with these symptoms should tell the doctor so that problems can be
diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
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Food, Herbal Supplements
Only FDA approved medicine can be considered as a leukemia cure or a leukemia treatment. Here just summarizes
several food or herbal supplements that may be beneficial to people at risk of leukemia:

Saffron - Some recent studies demonstrate the memory-enhancing, anti-cancer and anti-oxidative activities of saffron
extracts. The spectrum of tumors saffron is against is wide including leukemia, ovarian carcinoma, colon
adenocarcinoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, papilloma, squamous cell carcinoma, and soft tissue sarcoma.

Cordyceps - Korean researchers reported cytotoxic effects of cultivated fruiting bodies of Cordyceps
militaris extracts against the proliferation of the human premyelocytic leukemia cell HL-60 via the activation of
caspase-3.

Boswellia - Researchers found extracts from the gum resin of Boswellia serrata significantly inhibited the
ionophore-stimulated release of the leukotrienes B4 and C4 from intact human polymorphonuclear neutrophil
leukocytes.

Astragalus - Roots of Astragalus species are used to treat leukemia and for wound healing in Turkish folk
medicine.

Dandelion - Taraxinic acid may have potential as a therapeutic agent in human leukemia.

Isatis indigotica Isatis indigotica has been used in Chinese medicine for anti-leukemia.

Other herbs or supplements may have beneficial effects include:
mangosteen, falcarinol, ellagic acid, rhodea, acai
berry, honokiol, Black Soybean, Danggui Buxue Tang, Asparagus, yarrow, wolfberry, ru xiang, Schisandra, bilberry  
gallic acid sweet potato, maitake, lingonberry,  Again, these are not leukemia cure nor treatment. But, some of them
show some positive data in vitro or animal studies. Their effects on human is not known or not clear.
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Leukemia Treatment
People with leukemia have many treatment options. The options are watchful waiting, chemotherapy, targeted therapy,
biological therapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplant. If your spleen is enlarged, your doctor may suggest
surgery to remove it. Sometimes a combination of these treatments is used.

1. Watchful Waiting
People with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who do not have symptoms may be able to put off having cancer treatment.
By delaying treatment, they can avoid the side effects of treatment until they have symptoms. If you and your doctor
agree that watchful waiting is a good idea, you'll have regular checkups (such as every 3 months).

2. Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is usually given in cycles. Each cycle has a treatment period followed by a rest period. The side effects
depend mainly on which drugs are given and how much. Chemotherapy kills fast-growing leukemia cells, but the drug
can also harm normal cells that divide rapidly such as blood cells, hair cells, cells that line the digestive tract, sperm or
eggs.

3. Targeted Therapy
People with chronic myeloid leukemia and some with acute lymphoblastic leukemia may receive drugs called targeted
therapy. Imatinib (Gleevec) tablets were the first targeted therapy approved for chronic myeloid leukemia.Side effects
include swelling, bloating, sudden weight gain etc.

4. Biological Therapy
Biological therapy for leukemia is treatment that improves the body's natural defenses against the disease.

One type of biological therapy is a substance called a monoclonal antibody. It's given by IV infusion. This substance
binds to the leukemia cells. One kind of monoclonal antibody carries a toxin that kills the leukemia cells. Another kind
helps the immune system destroy leukemia cells.

For some people with chronic myeloid leukemia, the biological therapy is a drug called interferon. It is injected under
the skin or into a muscle. It can slow the growth of leukemia cells.

5. Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays to kill leukemia cells. The side effects of radiation
therapy depend mainly on the dose of radiation and the part of the body that is treated. For example, radiation to your
abdomen can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In addition, your skin in the area being treated may become red,
dry, and tender.

6. Stem Cell Transplant
A stem cell transplant allows the patients to be treated with high doses of drugs, radiation, or both. The high doses
destroy both leukemia cells and normal blood cells in the bone marrow. After you receive highdose chemotherapy,
radiation therapy, or both, you receive healthy stem cells through a large vein. (It's like getting a blood transfusion.)
New blood cells develop from the transplanted stem cells. The new blood cells replace the ones that were destroyed
by treatment.

After a stem cell transplant, you may stay in the hospital for several weeks or months. You'll be at risk for infections
and bleeding because of the large doses of chemotherapy or radiation you received. In time, the transplanted stem
cells will begin to produce healthy blood cells.

Another problem is that graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) may occur in people who receive donated stem cells. In
GVHD, the donated white blood cells in the stem cell graft react against the patient's normal tissues. Most often, the
liver, skin, or digestive tract is affected. GVHD can be mild or very severe. It can occur any time after the transplant,
even years later. Steroids or other drugs may help.