September is National Claret Blight Awareness Month, so I anticipation this would be a acceptable time, afore the ages ends, to address up an acknowledgment to a catechism I’ve gotten back I allocution about the assignment I’ve been accomplishing on a specific blazon of leukemia.
Question: There are altered types of leukemia? What does that mean?
Answer: There are absolutely absolutely a few altered types of leukemia! The chat leukemia is acclimated for cancers that alpha in the cartilage marrow. Leukemia beef about end up circulating in the blood, and can additionally advance to added organs, but it starts in the cartilage marrow. Blight can be anticipation of as amoral advance of cells. The leukemia I’ve been belief is a subset (yes, added classifications!) of Astute Myeloid Leukemia — AML. Let’s breach this bottomward added by word:
Acute agency the ache progresses quickly, and will be baleful aural a abbreviate aeon of time (maybe a few months) if not treated. This is in adverse to abiding leukemias, which advance added boring and (many) bodies can alive for years after analysis with a abiding disease. You ability not alike apperceive you accept a abiding leukemia for years. Astute leukemia beef are additionally beneath differentiated than abiding leukemia cells. What this agency is that astute leukemia beef accept started to breed out of ascendancy afore they’ve matured, and they can’t accomplish their accustomed functions.
Myeloid beef accommodate your red claret cells, and abounding of your white claret cells, but not lymphocytes (B and T cells). The white claret beef that are in the myeloid birth about accomplish up your congenital allowed system. (The congenital allowed arrangement recognizes and responds to pathogens, or “invaders” like bacilli or viruses, but doesn’t anatomy a abiding amnesty like the adaptive allowed arrangement does).
So, putting it all together: Astute Myeloid Leukemia is rapidly progressing, amoral advance of beef in the cartilage bottom that would commonly accomplish myeloid beef that are important for the congenital allowed system. There are additionally abiding leukemias and lymphocytic leukemias, as able-bodied as a few added variations.
But not alike all AMLs are the same!
The added above agency that can accord to altered “types” of leukemia, or added cancers, is what specific mutations the beef accept that led to cancer. Blight is basically amoral advance of a accurate corpuscle type, but there are altered means to get to amoral corpuscle growth. Some mutations assignment by cogent the beef to “grow abound grow”, instead of alone cogent them to abound back they charge to. Others assignment as a roadblock that armament the corpuscle to accomplish alone one blazon of corpuscle instead of all the beef it should be making. Yet others account the beef not to acknowledge to signals cogent them it’s time to die.
As you can apparently imagine, altered treatments will assignment best depending on which blazon of mutation(s) the blight has. Some drugs assignment by axis off the “grow abound grow” signal, some assignment by acclimation the “roadblock”, and so on. So altered types of leukemias sometimes charge altered treatments, and we haven’t begin the best analysis for all the types yet.
There is a lot of analysis actuality done to accept how altered mutations assignment in leukemia, and to acquisition new means to amusement altered subsets of the disease. Last year, the FDA accustomed four new treatments for altered subsets of AML patients (http://www.lls.org/lls-us-hq/news/fda-approval-of-targeted-therapy-for-aml-is-a-significant-advance-for-blood-cancer), three of which are alone accustomed for AML patients with specific mutations. This year there’s been one new accustomed analysis this year for patients with addition specific alteration (https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2018/ivosidenib-aml-fda-approval) This is acceptable account for those patients, and hopefully added acceptable account is on the way as analysis progresses.
If you accept questions about leukemia, blight research, or science in general, accelerate them my way and I’ll do my best to acknowledgment them!
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