Is leukemia untreatable?
Question: Is leukemia untreatable?
Answer: Due to the advancements of bone marrow and stem cell transplant, leukemia can be treated with increased chances of being cured particularly in patients with specified conditions. Nevertheless, the response to the treatment might widely vary among individuals due to different factors such as the affected chromosome in bone marrow, patient’s underlying disease and over health conditions. Before starting bone marrow and stem cell transplant, chemotherapy with high-dose will be administered to kill most of the leukemia cells in the blood and bone marrow. Then stem cell transplant will be used to restore normal blood cell production after leukemia cells are destroyed. In the past, to be a perfect matching, the donor has to be brothers or sisters who have the 100% matched Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA). With the advancements in transplant, nowadays the donor could be HLA-haploidentical (50% matched) such as parents, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. The advantage of having a haploidentical transplant is an increased chance of finding a suitable donor, thereby allowing transplants to be done in a more timely way.