Are we making progress against Leukemia?

We all know that Leukemia is a scary, devastating diagnosis.  Are we making any progress in the fight against this disease?  Here are the facts for the four most common types of Leukemia:

In 1975, the survival rate Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia was 41 %, now the survival rate is up to 90% at 5 years.

In 1975, the survival rate for Acute Myeloid Leukemia was less than 20%, now the 5 year survival is up to 50%.

In 1975, the survival rate for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia was less than 50%, now the 5 year survival rate is 82%.

In 1975, the survival rate for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia was only 6%.    A new drug that became available in 2001 changed everything for this disease.  Because of the new drug imatinib (Gleevec ™), 90% of patients with this disease are alive at 5 years!

Leukemia cells showing up on a blood smear under a microscope:

Leukemia blood cells

 

 

 

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