ACUTE PROMYELOCYTIC LEUKEMIA & TREATMENT
Definition: What is "Acute promyelocytic leukemia"?
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a known subtype of AML or acute myologenous leukemia, which is a form of cancer of the bone marrow & the blood. APL patients suffer from the abnormal accumulation of underdeveloped granulocytes . APL is characterized as a disorder brought about by chromosomal translocation.
Symptoms & Signs
APL shares the common symptoms found in AML. This includes fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, easy bleeding, anemia, bone & joint pains as well as increased susceptibility to infections.
Treatment: How to Treat "Acute promyelocytic leukemia"?
Among many types pf leukemia, APL is quite unique & is known to display sensitivity to ATRA or all-trans retinoic acid, which is a derivative of vitamin A. That is try treatments with ATRA is combined with anthracycline chemotherapy that usually results to remission in about 90% of the APL patients.
APL is caused by chromosomal translocations, which is a DNA abnormality that causes leukemia to develop. Normally, the human DNA consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes. In APL, one chromosome breaks off & gets attached to another chromosome, hence the term translocation.
To be able to properly distinguish APL from other forms of leukemia, a morphologic examination is required through aspirate or bone marrow biopsy. To monitor relapse, doctors use PCR tests for allow early re-treatment.