Hematology: Hairy cell leukemia — Treatment with Pentostatin. Treatment
Hairy cell leukemia is the most common type of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, upon which the appearance of the characteristic "hairy" (or "ragged") leukocytes is observed in blood. The modified cells cease to participate in immune reactions, which leads to development of infectious complications. The main role in the treatment of disease is played by chemotherapy.
When selecting specific drugs, the physician is guided by severity of the condition and age of the patient. For patients older than 55 years, deoxycoformycin is preferred. Getting into the defective lymphocyte precursors, this agent inhibits an enzyme involved in DNA synthesis. As a result, the cells lose their ability to divide and die.
Deoxycoformycin is injected every 2 weeks. The treatment is continued until complete remission. Normally, it takes 5-10 infusions. In severe cases, the healing process may take more than 6 months.
The patients usually report the following side effects:
- dyspepsia (nausea, vomiting)
- rash and itching,
- increased susceptibility to infectious diseases.
To alleviate the condition, the physician recommends symptomatic treatment.
The response to treatment is evaluated by general and biochemical blood tests. Upon cycle completion, in order to consolidate the remission, the patients are administered 1 to 2 repeated injection of the cytostatic in the same therapeutic dose.
Deoxycoformycin allows inhibiting the leukemia development, on average, in 80 to 85% patients. The further treatment program is developed for each case individually.Hide