Treatment and Medication
Remission induction: Combination of prednisolone or dexamethasone, vincristine, asparaginase (better tolerance in pediatric patients), and daunorubicin (used in Adult ALL) is used to induce remission. Central nervous system prophylaxis can be achieved via irradiation, cytarabine and methotrexate, or liposomal cytarabine.In Philadelphia chromosome-positive ALL, the intensity of initial induction treatment may be less than has been traditionally given.
Consolidation: Typical consolidiation protocols use vincristine, cyclophosphamide, cytarabine, daunorubicin, etoposide, thioguanine or mercaptopurine given as blocks in different combinations. For CNS protection, intrathecal methotrexate or cytarabine is usually used combined with or without cranio-spinal irradiation (the use of radiation therapy to the head and spine). Central nervous system relapse is treated with intrathecal administration of hydrocortisone, methotrexate, and cytarabine.
Maintenance therapy: Oral mercaptopurine, once weekly oral methotrexate, once monthly 5-day course of intravenous vincristine and oral corticosteroids are usually used. The length of maintenance therapy is 3 years for boys, 2 years for girls and adults.
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Immunotherapy: Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) have been developed as a promising therapy for ALL. This technology uses a single chain variable fragment (scFv) designed to recognize the cell surface marker CD19 as a method of treating ALL. CD19 is a molecule found on all B-cells and can be used as a means of distinguishing the potentially malignant B-cell population in the patient.
Biological therapy: ALL, aiming at biological targets such as the proteasome, in combination with chemotherapy, has given promising results in clinical trials.Selection of biological targets on the basis of their combinatorial effects on the leukemic lymphoblasts can lead to clinical trials for improvement in the effects of all treatments.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) is used on painful bony areas, in high disease burdens, or as part of the preparations for a bone marrow transplant.