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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Leukemia

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Leukeran and Prednisone for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia [posted 7/22/98]
Question: My oncologist has just ordered a combination of leukeran and prednisone to treat progressing chronic lymphocytic leukemia. I received a brief outline of each drug from the doctor, but I would like some more information.

Answer: Leukeran (chlorambucil) is a drug used mainly in chemotherapy of different blood disorders. In small doses it is well tolerated and usually the first drug used in CLL. The dosage is usually increased until the counts drop and the smallest effective drug dosage used. Side effects would include nausea, diarrhea, low white counts, anemia and decreased bone marrow activity. Usually not see due to the small doses. Hypersensitivity reactions causing skin rashes and occasional neurologic symptoms are also seen. Prednisone is a steroid which long term has several side effects. It basically increases the aging process of many body systems. Thus, one can develop diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, cataracts, muscle weakness, increased athlerosclerosis etc. This is also dose and duration dependent. That is the symptoms are higher with higher doses.

Side Effects
Question: Is ALL1 (Acute Lymphoblast Luekamia) 100% curable?

Answer: No.
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