Acute promyelocytic leukemia is very rare and very aggressive, so much so that in some cases it leaves no way out due to the serious bleeding it causes. If recognized in time, however, it can be cured in almost 95% of cases
Leukemia fulminate (which is spoken of in relation to the disappearance of Gian Piero Ventrone) a vague term, which does not correspond to any specific diagnosis or type of leukemia. When we talk about fulminant leukemia we generally mean a particular form of acute myeloid leukemiatechnically called acute promyelocytic leukemiafor which in recent years, thanks to Italian research, very important progress has been made: the chances of surviving and healing, previously less than 20%, today they are close to 95% thanks to a targeted therapy, not chemotherapy, based on arsenic trioxide combined with all-trans retinoic acida derivative of vitamin A. This type of blood cancer is very aggressive and complicated to treat, as it often appears with a hemorrhage in the brain.
Rapidly diagnosing acute promyelocytic leukemia is fundamental because this form of blood cancer progresses quickly and it is estimated that about 15 percent of patients experience fatal bleeding (for example cerebral) even before being able to receive the diagnosis and, therefore, be subjected to therapies, which exist and are effective. To save one’s life, therefore, it is essential to be informed in order to recognize the first signs of this disease, of which they are diagnosed about 150 new cases per year in Italyand whose higher incidence in the population segment between 30 and 45 yearsbut it can also affect children and the elderly.
It manifests itself with the appearance of bruising (the common bruises that form even with minor trauma) e petechiae (small, bright red skin spots) that appear especially in the lower limbs. These are associated with severe bleeding which are found in most cases in the gastrointestinal, central nervous system and genitourinary system. You can die in a few days, but therapies are able to cure patients in over 90 percent of casesif the pathology is identified quickly and in expert reference centers equipped to deal with its management.
How fulminant leukemia is treated and treatments
The greatest difficulty all in the times, which are not infrequently too short. If there is a diagnostic suspicion (which must then be confirmed initially with a simple blood test and then the marrow and DNA) a timely administration of retinoic acida derivative of vitamin A to prevent the appearance of the dreaded hemocoagulative complication of the disease – he explains Fabrizio Pane, Professor of Hematology at the Federico II University of Naples -. But in some cases his appearance is so rapid that it is impossible to arrive at a diagnosis, made even more difficult by the rarity of the pathology. The success rates if the patient is treated immediately are very high, up to 95% in general combining retinoic acid with chemotherapy or arsenic which induces the “death” of cancer cells. Unfortunately, those patients for whom it is not possible to arrive in time remain out.
October 6, 2022 (change October 6, 2022 | 15:09)
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