Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia Beverly Hills

The bone marrow is responsible for producing a number of blood cells that work to regulate the immune system and help the body to fight off illness and infections. The blood consists of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The white blood cells are further divided into many different types of subcells. When the bone marrow malfunctions and produces too many of a particular type of white blood cell, it can result in several different types of leukemia (blood cancer) depending on the specific white blood cell type in question.APML Leukemia Treatment in Los Angeles

Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia Beverly Hills

Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APML) is a subtype of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), and results from an overproduction of promyelocytes, which are a type of white blood cell known as granulocytes. This particular form of leukemia results from a genetic mutation involving chromosomes 15 and 17. The symptoms for acute promyelocytic leukemia can be very similar to other forms of blood cancer and other disorders.

Signs and Symptoms of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia

  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Low platelet count
  • Low white blood cell count (leucopenia)
  • Infections
  • Low red blood cell count
  • Leukocytosis (elevated white blood cells, which can occur in 10% to 30% of patients)
    Patients suffering from low platelet counts are susceptible to increased bleeding and bruising and additional related symptoms:
  • Epistaxis (nosebleeds)
  • Periodontal (gums) bleeding
  • Ecchymosis (bruising)
  • Menorrhagia (increased menstrual bleeding)

Diagnosing Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia Beverly Hills

Patients exhibiting symptoms of APML and other forms of blood cancer should schedule an appointment with a specialist as quickly as possible. The Cancer Center of Southern California is home to some of the best board-certified oncologists and leukemia specialists in the country.

A combination of a comprehensive physical exam and medical history with state of the art diagnostic and imaging tests are used to help determine whether a patient is suffering from a form of blood cancer, and if so, the specific type, in order to determine the most effective method of treatment possible.
Some of the diagnostic testing available to detect signs of a mutation and chemical reactions in the blood that may indicate the presence of acute promyelocytic leukemia include:

  • Bone marrow aspirate
  • Biopsy
  • PCR (polymerase chain reaction)
  • FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization)
  • Cytogenic testing

Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia Treatment in Beverly Hills

There are typically three phases of treatment for APL:

Induction – A combination of a Vitamin A-like chemical called all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and chemotherapy is administered as the first phase of treatment after diagnosis with APL.

Consolidation/Intensification – The goal of this phase of treatment is to target any residual cells that may lead to a return/relapse of APL. This phase combines ATRA, chemotherapy, and a third drug, arsenic trioxide, to fight any potential lingering cancer cells.

Maintenance – Following the main phases of acute promyelocytic leukemia treatment, patients undergo further treatment with ATRA and chemotherapy for up to a year in order to prevent a relapse.

Next, read Leukemia Cell Treatment