Used for treating acute myeloid leukaemia or AML, post induction therapy treatment is also known as consolidation therapy. It is used mainly to destroy any residual leukaemia cells which were not killed during induction or remission therapy or leukaemia chemotherapy. This treatment prevents the scope of any relapse and aids the bone marrow to start functioning normally again.
For young patients, post induction therapy involves – 1) High doses of cytarabine chemo over numerous cycles 2) Allogeneic stem cell transplant – where healthy donor cells replace dead stem cells 3) Autologous stem cell transplant where the patient's own healthy cells from other body parts are used to replace the dead stem cells.
The consolidation therapy primarily makes use of cytarabine and high doses of the same are administered to patients by a general surgeon for over 5 days. After every 4 weeks the dose is repeated so that 3-4 cycles are completed. Acute AML is also often treated by giving very high doses of chemotherapy for leukaemia and then carrying out stem cell transplant treatment, which can be allogeneic or autologous in nature. This transplantation treatment reduces the risk of relapse of leukaemia significantly. But this treatment might not be suitable for older patients or those with poor health condition, since it is extremely exhausting. A few cycles of cytarabine might be used for such patients, but the dosage is usually lower than the ones used for young patients or a mini-transplant. The time taken by the treatment will depend on the health condition of the patient, his or her age, the severity of the cancer and so on.
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