Chronic myelogenous leukemia is a slow-growing cancer that can be controlled with drugs. However, if a person does not receive timely and high-quality treatment, they may develop complications such as tumor spread in the body, an enlarged spleen, a low number of cells in the blood, or the transition of chronic myelogenous leukemia to acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is much more difficult to treat. To take the disease under control in a timely manner, contact one of the German medical centers. Doctors at German hospitals use the latest therapy regimens that effectively suppress the tumor process with a minimal risk of side effects.
- Cytotoxic chemotherapy
- Targeted therapy
- Immunotherapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia
Chronic myelogenous leukemia is treated with targeted therapy. If this treatment does not work, cytotoxic chemotherapy and immunotherapy can be used. If these methods can no longer curb the development of the disease, children and young patients resort to high-dose chemotherapy with an allogeneic stem cell transplant.
You can undergo your treatment at one of the following university hospitals: University Hospital Freiburg, University Hospital Mannheim, or University Hospital Ulm.
You do not have to arrange your trip yourself. The Booking Health company will take care of the organization of your trip. Our employees will choose a clinic and a doctor, tell you about possible treatment programs, make an appointment on the preferred dates, help you to apply for a visa and prepare medical records, take care of transfer and interpreting services, and control the cost of treatment. The Booking Health coordinator will be in touch with you 24/7 until you return home.
Classical chemotherapy involves the administration of cytotoxic agents that affect all cells with a high division rate. First of all, these are cancer cells, but others are also affected, for example, the hematopoietic system. To reduce harm to the body, chemotherapy is given in cycles. Each course is followed by a rest period to allow normal cells to regenerate.
Chronic myelogenous leukemia chemotherapy in Germany with the use of cytotoxic agents is rarely used because more effective drug therapies have become available. In chronic myelogenous leukemia, cytotoxic drugs can be prescribed only in the absence of the effect of targeted therapy, and also before a stem cell transplant, which is also becoming an increasingly rare procedure for chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Targeted therapy is considered the main treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia. It also belongs to systemic therapy, but instead of classic cytotoxic drugs, doctors use drugs that target particular molecules.
In myeloid leukemia, tyrosine kinase inhibitors are considered the first choice drugs. They are prescribed as pills. Since the disease can never be completely cured, drug intake continues for a very long time. The drugs are not canceled even in the case of the development of side effects, although, in some cases, it is possible to reduce dosages.
Drugs that target BCR-ABL help to control the disease for many years and prevent it from progressing to a more aggressive stage. Since patients are treated at home on their own, it is very important to strictly follow the doctor's prescriptions in order to get the desired result. Here is what you should pay attention to first of all:
- dosages should be exactly as prescribed by a doctor, even if side effects have appeared (lower doses will lead to insufficient effects, and higher doses will lead to excessive toxicity);
- frequency of administration – a patient should not skip a dose, as this will lead to a decrease in the treatment effectiveness (most drugs are taken only once a day);
- some drugs interact with tyrosine kinase inhibitors, so it is worth informing your doctor about any drugs, supplements or herbs you are taking;
- some drugs cannot be combined with food, as their bioavailability is reduced;
- some medicines affect blood glucose levels, heart rate, etc., so it is worth undergoing regular check-ups to avoid complications.
Regular examinations will help doctors to understand if the treatment is effective. As a rule, drugs work for a long time, but if the effect weakens, a doctor may prescribe a different tyrosine kinase inhibitor or increase the dosage. Some patients with T315I mutations may require other drugs.
When standard treatment does not work, a person will be given second-line drugs and then third-line drugs. Finally, if targeted therapy does not work at all, immunotherapy and cytotoxic chemotherapy can be used separately or in addition to it.
Immunotherapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia
Myeloid leukemia can be treated with immunotherapy with interferons. As of today, this treatment option is not used as often as it used to be. There are several reasons:
- more effective targeted therapy was developed;
- targeted therapy is more convenient: taking pills is easier than doing daily injections;
- interferons sometimes cause severe side effects;
- interferon treatment is less well tolerated: body temperature may rise, a patient may develop headaches and muscle pain, weakness, etc.
Therefore, interferon therapy is no longer considered the first-line treatment. These drugs are only given to people who are no longer getting the effects of targeted therapy.
You are welcome to use the Booking Health service to undergo your diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation for chronic myelogenous leukemia in Germany. Here you can find the cost of treatment and book an appointment at the clinic at the best price. Our specialists will help you to select the best clinics in Germany and arrange your trip.
The article was edited by medical experts, board-certified doctors Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova and Dr. Sergey Pashchenko. For the treatment of the conditions referred to in the article, you must consult a doctor; the information in the article is not intended for self-medication!
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