Leukemia

Leukemia Overview:

Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells. Unlike other cancers, leukemia does not tend to form tumors because the affected cells do not make up a particular tissue.

All blood cells are made in the bone marrow. With leukemia, the cells that are rapidly differentiating in the bone marrow to make the blood cells are not maturing properly. These cells do not funciton properly, and may not proceed to the next stage of maturation. This causes them to build up inside the bone marrow, causing a decrease in effective blood cells, and eventually becoming overcrowded and leaking out into the blood stream.

Over time, these cells build up, and will cause the body to have less of the afected blood cells. This can be fatal if not stopped.


Blood Cell Production:

Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow before either maturing, or travelling to the thymus to mature. 


Aetiology:

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Chronic Leukemia:

  • In chronic leukemia, the cells that are affected are proliferating slowly. This means less aggressive treatment is needed. 
  • Chronic leukemia can take a long time to cause death, but needs to be monitored because it can turn into acute leukemia. 
    • Chronic myeloid leukemia
      • Average survival is about 6 years
      • There is a chromosome that is well known for detecting this form of leukemia from occurring. 
      • 50% of patients will have hepatomegaly as well
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
    • Most common form of leukemia. Mainly found in older males. 
    • Mainly affects B-cells, resulting in immunocompromisation
    • Takes a long time to result in death. Most patients die of other causes before this condition kills them

Acute Leukemia:

  • Main type of leukemia in children is lymphoblastic
  • Bone marrow failure eventually results in death, crowding out the healthy cells with unhealthy ones. 
  • Acute leukemia comes from rapidly proliferating cells, which means treatment needs to be more aggressive, and begin much sooner. 
  • Average survival is about 5 weeks

Lymphoblastic Leukemia

  • Diagnosis
    • Positive nucular staining for TdT = DNA polymerase, which is only found in lymphoblasts. This can still refer to eaither a T-cell or B-cell. To further differentiate, suurface markers need to be tested for. 
    • Chronic
      • Low haemoglobin (later stages as bone marrow begins to become suppressed)
    • Acute:
      • All 3 blood cells will be low
      • Low white
      • Possibly very high (early)
      • Very low (later stages)
      • Low red
      • Low cell count
      • Low platelets
      • Low cell count
  • Lymphoid cells (T-cells, B-cells, NK cells)

Myeloid Leukemia

  • Diagnosis
    • myeloperoxidase can be found through cytoblastic staining.
    • Increased Lymphocyte numbers
    • Chronic
      • Low haemoglobin (later stages as bone marrow begins to become suppressed)
    • Acute:
      • All 3 blood cells will be low
      • Low white
      • Possibly very high (early)
      • Very low (later stages)
      • Low red
      • Low cell count
      • Low platelets
      • Low cell count
  • Granulocytes (neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils)


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Therapeutic Aims:

1. Promote Genetic Stability

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2. Promote Differentiation And Genetic Stability

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3. Inhibit Abnormal Signal Transduction

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4. Promote normal Cell-To-Cell Communication

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5. Inhibit Tumor Angiogenesis

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6. Inhibit Tumor Invasion And Metastasis

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7. Promote Immunity Against The Tumor

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Differential Diagnosis:

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Herbs For Leukemia:


Formula For Leukemia:

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Author:

Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment


References:

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