Home Health Fulminant leukemia, what it is and what are the symptoms not to be underestimated

Fulminant leukemia, what it is and what are the symptoms not to be underestimated

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Singer Michele Merlo, also known under the pseudonym Mike Bird, former competitor of X Factor and Amici di Maria De Filippi, left us at just 28 years old for a fulminant leukemia. Let’s try to understand better what it is. Because the death of Michele Merlo can make us reflect and, perhaps, save other lives

He had been hospitalized in serious condition in the reanimation ward of the Maggiore hospital in Bologna, but then he didn’t make it: at the age of 28 Michele Merlo died, better known among the very young as Mike Bird, face first of X Factor and then of Friends. Its a fulminant leukemia that left him no time or escape. But what is it about? Is there really no solution? Absolutely not and, indeed, Michele’s death is a warning to us do not underestimate certain symptoms.

After being hit, in the night between Thursday and last Friday by a cerebral hemorrhage triggered and subjected to surgery, Marco’s situation was considered desperate. Now the parents are quite angry, because before the emergency hospitalization the singer would have been sent home from the hospital, where the symptoms he had been presenting for a few days, says the family, were interpreted “as a trivial viral form”.

Instead it was one fulminant leukemia and those that were obvious symptoms were probably not taken into consideration.

What is fulminant leukemia and symptoms

Fulminant leukemia is medically known by the term leucemia acuta promielocitica, a subtype of acute myeloid leukemia and is the most aggressive of the blood cancers. The cause is to be found in a translocation, ie one aberration chromosomal, which exchanges parts of non-homologous chromosomes – between chromosomes 15 and 17. It is a so-called “acquired” relocation, so it is not present from birth.

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The disease arises suddenly (hence the appellation of fulminant). It can occur in the form of heavy bleeding, due to the reduction in the number of platelets and the lack of blood clotting. The disease is quite rare and affects about 150 people in one year in Italy, usually between 35 and 40 years of age, regardless of sex.

Having said that, it is still one of the cancers that has the highest cure rate, with nine out of ten patients, thanks to the possibility of diagnosing the disease correctly and in a few hours.

Symptoms of fulminant leukemia

Symptoms primarily concern the appearance of skin bleedingHowever, they can also be a sign of benign blood diseases, such as purpura. Bleeding can occur from the nose (bleeding from both nostrils is a wake-up call for acute promyelocytic leukemia), gums or relate todigestive system, that genitourinary or they can be cerebral. In addition, patients affected by the disease can also experience fatigue and general malaise.

So in summary, the symptoms of fulminant leukemia are:

  • skin bleeding
  • fatigue
  • general malaise

L’morphological examination of bone marrow he was born in peripheral blood the first step for a diagnosis still remains, which can also be followed by searches for typical anomalies cytogenetics e molecular, features of this disease.

The chromosomal translocation that affects this type of leukemia is at the basis of the formation of an abnormal fusion protein (PML / RARalpha), which causes a maturation of myeloid stem cells (they stop at the promyelocyte stage).

For this reason, international guidelines recommend genetic diagnosis, which consists in identifying with cytogenetic and molecular biology techniques, the alteration of chromosomes 15 and 17. This evaluation also allows patients to be stratified on the basis of risk percentages. In this way it is possible to modulate the therapy to be undertaken after the remission of the disease.

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Fonte: INRAN

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The article incorporates published studies and recommendations from international institutions and / or experts. We make no claims in the medical-scientific field and we report the facts as they are. The sources are indicated at the end of each article


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