Chronic myelogenous leukemia is a malignant condition in which red bone marrow produces too many white blood cells. It usually develops against the background of genetic changes, and most people with this pathology have the Philadelphia chromosome (a gene mutation).
Hematological hospitals in Germany adjust treatment to the phase of pathology (chronic, accelerated or blastic) in order to receive the best results. Treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia in Germany includes administering systemic medications (targeted drugs, chemotherapy, immunotherapy) and replacing the affected bone marrow with donor stem cells.
Medication therapy of chronic myeloid leukemia
Depending on the results of diagnostics, phase of the disease and therapeutic goals, German hematologists choose one of the following medicamentous options or their combination:
- Targeted therapy suppresses formation of new white blood cells. Targeted drugs contain the tyrosine kinase inhibitors, which prevent transformation of stem cells into the young white blood cells (blasts). The same time, targeted drugs do not harm healthy tissues or cause severe side effects.
- Chemotherapy kills all cells that divide and grow rapidly. Despite the fact that most of such cells are the malignant ones, healthy tissues can suffer as well. That is why doctors in German hospitals now give preference to targeted drugs. However, chemotherapy is indicated to people who are resistant to the tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
- Immunotherapy stimulates the body's natural immunity to fight chronic myeloid leukemia. Interferon is used for this purpose. The drug reduces the number of blasts and sometimes even the number of cells with the Philadelphia chromosome.
Clinics in Germany offer novel systemic medications that are often not available in other countries.
Bone marrow transplantation
High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant consists of two steps. First, a patient receives very high doses of chemotherapeutic agents in order to kill all the malignant foci in the red bone marrow. Unfortunately, healthy cells die too. So, the next step includes stem cell transplant – infusion of stem cells that have been harvested from a close relative or a matched unrelated donor.
As a result, all cancer foci in the bone marrow are killed, and its hematopoietic function is restored. Until the treatment is over, a patient stays in the sterile ward in order to avoid infectious complications.
Donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) is an additional procedure that can supplement stem cell transplant. Lymphocytes are harvested from the stem cell transplant donor and infused to the patient. Donor lymphocytes find tumor parts throughout the body and destroy them, somewhat replacing the patient’s own immunity.
Planning treatment in Germany
If you want to start high-quality treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia at the specialized German center, you should visit the Booking Health website. Booking Health is the international provider of medical tourism (certificate ISO 9001:2015) with vast experience in this medical sphere. For over 12 years the company helps people visit German healthcare facilities and overcome cancer.
On the website you will find the updated information about the specialized cancer centers, available therapeutic options and their costs. If you don’t need any additional information, then you can make an appointment straight away. If you have any questions, feel free to contact a medical advisor.
Booking Health managers will provide you with the full organizational package, exclude additional fees from prices and guide you through all stages of undergoing therapy of chronic myeloid leukemia abroad.