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About Purixan™

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer that affects blood producing cells in the bone marrow. The word ‘acute’ means developing quickly, while ‘lymphoblastic’ refers to the type of white blood cell affected by the condition. ALL accounts for a third of all cancers inflicting children and is also the most common form of leukemia in children. Incidence of the disease peaks in childhood, but it can affect teenagers and young adults too; it then becomes increasingly more common in people over the age of 50.

ALL is a fast growing disease and so it is very important to receive effective therapy soon after diagnosis. Fortunately, most children respond very well to treatment and survival rates are very high. Over the last several decades, advances in the treatment and supportive care of children with ALL have dramatically increased its 5 year survival rates to more than 90%.

ALL is treated according to a treatment plan (also known as a ‘protocol’) and involves a number of phases of treatment; induction, consolidation and maintenance. A combination of chemotherapy drugs that have been carefully selected are given in each phase. The drugs may be given in several different ways: by mouth (tablets or liquid), into a blood vessel (intravenously), into a muscle (intramuscularly), or into the fluid around the spine and brain (intrathecally).The total length of treatment is around 2.5 years for girls and 3.5 years for boys.

PURIXAN (mercaptopurine) oral suspension is an essential drug in combination chemotherapy and is administered in all phase of treatment but is particularly important in the maintenance phase to prevent the disease returning (relapse).

More information on Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia can be found on several oncology websites provided here.