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Is chemotherapy the right treatment for leukaemia?

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Posted on Sat, 21 May 2016
Question: Dear Sir, My mother diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia and doctors suggested to give Chemotheopy through IV and to be given in 6 cycles once in a three weeks gap. Her age is 64. Pls provide your opinion. Reports enlcosed.
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Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
probably needs chemo

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Thanks for your query.

The reports do suggest chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, all CLL do not require treatment. But in her case, indications of treatment are present, like low hemoglobin and episodes of infection. Part of low hemoglobn may be due to blood destruction due to auto-antibodies which can be controlled with steroids alone.

If she has repeated episodes of fever or infections, weight loss, etc, then chemotherapy should be given. Usually we start with inj Rituximab plus bendamustin every 28 days. But other protocols are also there. You can discuss this with your doctor. Most patients respond to this regimen and get better without too many side effects, even if age is higher, and 64 years is considered young for CLL. There are many patients more than 70 year old being treated with chemotherapy plus rituximab.


Hope this helps. I will be available for further follow-up.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Indranil Ghosh (28 minutes later)
Sir, Thank you very much for your speedy answer. I have a small query.

Pls confirm the stage of the cancer as per reports. I mean whether as per reports, it is earlier stage or superier stage. It sounds silly question, but I am in very anxiety for my mother health. Also suggest at this age, is she affordable for chemotherapy treatment.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
stage is XXXXXXX stage 3

Detailed Answer:
according to XXXXXXX staging it is stage 3 (range from 0 to4 )

Do you really mean 'affordable'? I think you want to mean whether she can tolerate chemo or not. As I have already mentioned that most CLL patients are old and tolerate chemo. Of course the decision has to be taken by treating oncologist.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Indranil Ghosh (42 hours later)
Dear Sir, as suggested by doctor and yourself, if she treated with Chemotherapy for 6 cycles, is she expected to normal as like us and in future is there any chances for repeating the same problem?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
yes she can have normal life

Detailed Answer:
However, CLL is incurable. Eventually it comes back. But definitely long term disease free interval can be achieved (even >5 years)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Indranil Ghosh

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Is chemotherapy the right treatment for leukaemia?

Brief Answer: probably needs chemo Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for your query. The reports do suggest chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, all CLL do not require treatment. But in her case, indications of treatment are present, like low hemoglobin and episodes of infection. Part of low hemoglobn may be due to blood destruction due to auto-antibodies which can be controlled with steroids alone. If she has repeated episodes of fever or infections, weight loss, etc, then chemotherapy should be given. Usually we start with inj Rituximab plus bendamustin every 28 days. But other protocols are also there. You can discuss this with your doctor. Most patients respond to this regimen and get better without too many side effects, even if age is higher, and 64 years is considered young for CLL. There are many patients more than 70 year old being treated with chemotherapy plus rituximab. Hope this helps. I will be available for further follow-up. Regards