Adult ALL Treatment
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. There are two types of radiation therapy: external radiation therapy and internal radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer.
External radiation therapy may be used to treat adult ALL that has spread, or may spread, to the brain and spinal cord. When used to prevent cancer from spreading to the brain and spinal cord, it is called central nervous system (CNS) sanctuary therapy or CNS prophylaxis.
Chemotherapy With Stem Cell Transplant
Stem cell transplant is a method of giving chemotherapy and replacing blood-forming cells destroyed by the cancer treatment. In a stem cell transplant, stem cells (immature blood cells) are removed from the blood or bone marrow of the patient or a donor and are frozen and stored. After the chemotherapy is completed, the stored stem cells are thawed and given back to the patient through an infusion. These reinfused stem cells grow into (and restore) the body's blood cells.
Adult ALL treatment options vary by phase, and include:
- In remission
Untreated Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Standard treatment of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during the remission induction phase may include combination chemotherapy or CNS prophylaxis therapy, including chemotherapy (intrathecal and/or systemic) with or without radiation therapy to the brain.