Leukemia is known as a disease that ‘kills’ the sufferers slowly because the signs at the beginning when this disease appears are completely invisible. Even so, there are some therapies or healing that can treat blood cancer.
there are at least 5 studies on blood cancer treatment that have been carried out by world researchers.
Arsenic, a favorite poison since Roman times, turned out to work to destroy specific proteins in blood cancer cells or leukemia. Scientists from China feel confident, arsenic has great potential to become a cancer drug in the future.
“Our results show how arsenic goes directly to the target protein and kills it,” said lead researcher Zhang Xiaowei of the State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Shanghai, China.
Another advantage of arsenic, added Zhang, is that it does not cause side effects like chemotherapy. “There is no effect of hair loss or impaired bone function. Therefore we are interested in exploring whether arsenic can also be used in other types of cancer,” he said.
- Take medicine
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) or Chronic Granulocytic Leukemia (LGK) is a type of blood cancer that can be overcome by taking medication. However, patients must take medication for life even though they have been doing intensive treatment for 18 months.
“After 18 months, eating medicine must be correct every day. There is no term stop medicine until now. Take the medicine for life,” said Medical Oncology Hematologist (SpPD-KHOM) Hilman Tadjoedin during a discussion in Jakarta on Tuesday ( 9/22/2015).
The doctor will continue to monitor to make sure the patient gets the right treatment. If the patient is not obedient to taking the medicine, there is a fear that resistance will occur so that he must replace second-line drugs.
“If resistance, the medication taken does not provide an optimal response. So the treatment is arguably futile,” explained the doctor from the Medical Oncology Hematology Association (Perhompedin).
He said, currently there are four drugs used throughout the world to treat CML, namely Imatinib, Nilotinib, Dasatinib, and Ponatinib.
- Immune system
In a recent study published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers who were pioneers of immunity-based cancer treatment reported an encouraging result for the treatment of cancer of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
This study was led by Dr. Cameron Turtle from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The scientists gave different chemotherapy regimens to 32 patients, then they were introduced to immune cells specifically designed to target and destroy cancer cells.
All patients have been given at least one traditional treatment and some have done stem cell transplants but the results have not been satisfactory.
After immunotherapy, there were seven people who made it into the complete remission stage, while the other four experienced slower progression of the disease.
This treatment is called CAR-T cell therapy, targeted at blood cancer, where doctors can remove cancer cells and replace them with healthy blood and immune cells.
- Genetic Engineering
The first time in the world, two babies suffering from leukemia were successfully cured by the treatment of engineered immune cells.
Unlike the previous similar therapy, the cells used in the baby come from donor blood, not the patient’s own blood.
T cells or immune cells are then genetically manipulated to more effectively attack and kill leukemia cells.
Cancer treatment uses T-cells that are modified or called CAR-T which is created from immune cells belonging to blood donors.
In traditional T-cell therapy, immune cells are taken from the patient’s body and genetically engineered before being returned to the body.
- Bone Marrow Transplant
Spinal cord transplantation is a treatment method that is starting to be done a lot for patients with blood cancer or leukemia. In China, spinal cord transplants have been carried out since 1964.
“When a spinal cord transplant is carried out, there is a 22-year-old patient. Currently he is 74 years old. This is a world record because he can live longer after the transplant,” said Lu Daopei Hospital’s President Director Peggy Lu when met at the Hospital Lu Daopei, Beijing, China, Saturday (03/12/2016).
The female patient received a spinal cord donor from her sibling. Peggy explained, donors from siblings or siblings and siblings had a high success rate because of the risk of rejection of the body receiving lower donors.