July 31, 2023 Word for Word Media

Dr Gem E. George-Tharakan educates us on chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and why targeted therapy is the optimal treatment.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

What is chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)? CLL is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Specifically, it’s cancerous growth of B lymphocytes (sub-type of white (fighter) cells produced in the bone marrow that circulate in peripheral blood, mature and function in secondary lymphoid tissue, such as lymph nodes, liver, spleen, etc.). Incidence CLL is a common leukaemia that is typically…

February 8, 2023 Word for Word Media

You can listen to this articles below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Dr Lucille Sarah Singh details how CAR T-cell therapy works and how it will fit in the SA healthcare system. CAR T-cell therapy is the new kid on the block in the armamentarium of immunotherapy and cell and gene-based therapy. If nothing else, the COVID pandemic has put our immune systems under the spotlight; we have a heightened awareness of the exquisite repertoire of biological responses happening in our bodies on a daily basis to clear foreign invaders. These foreign invaders can be viruses and bacteria, but did you…

November 29, 2022 Word for Word Media
Katherine Gordon tells us how after one year of having no oocyte activity due to chemotherapy, everything had come back to life and five years later she gave birth to her son.  Katherine Gordon (39) lives in Douglasdale, Gauteng with her husband, Alon, and their two-year-old son, Joshua.  Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) At age 32, Katherine was diagnosed with AML. The diagnosis came about after she collapsed when running The Comrades Marathon in 2014.  “I’ve always had low iron, so I thought that was the root. I saw a dietitian to get assistance both for the future of my running and because we wanted to start a…

July 29, 2022 Word for Word Media
Rainbows and Smiles, an NGO that is dedicated to supporting children with cancer, shares the frequently asked questions when a child is diagnosed with leukaemia. What is childhood leukaemia? Leukaemia or blood cancer occurs when there is an overgrowth of abnormal white cells. These leukaemia cells grow to the point that they eventually consume and destroy the normal bone marrow. Eventually these cells spill out into the blood where they are detected. Leukaemia is the most common form of childhood cancer, accounting for almost one out of three cancers. The most common type of leukaemia is acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.  Why do children get leukaemia? The exact cause of…

February 4, 2022 Word for Word Media
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is at the forefront of immunotherapy. With these new and emerging treatments, substantially more effective therapies both upfront and at relapse are becoming a reality, both internationally and in SA. Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is an aggressive cancer of the blood and bone marrow that if untreated results in death in a matter of weeks to months. It has excellent cure rates in young children, but in adults it’s only more recently that treatments are catching up to the paediatric level of success. How does ALL develop? All the cells of the blood and immune system are made…

November 30, 2020 Word for Word Media
Dr Philippa Ashmore tells us how chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia is now managed with increased emphasis on personalised and chemotherapy-free treatments. Chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia (CLL) is the most common leukaemia in the western world. This blood/bone marrow cancer is most often seen in older patients, although younger patients can be affected, with a higher rate in men compared to women.  How does chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia develop? The CLL cell is an immune system cell, called a B-lymphocyte, that becomes cancerous. This happens at a stage of development before the immune cell can make normal and healthy antibodies, resulting in a very dysfunctional…

March 20, 2019 Word for Word Media
Haematologist, Dr Michael Cass, educates us on chronic myeloid leukaemia. What is chronic myeloid leukaemia? Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), also called chronic myelogenous leukaemia, is a chronic (long-term and slow-growing) type of leukaemia. Leukaemia is a cancer of white blood cells which originates in the bone marrow (blood-forming organ of the body). CML results in an increase in the number of immature blood cells in the bone marrow. These cells also spill out of the bone marrow into the blood and accumulate in the spleen.  CML is sometimes discovered incidentally in an asymptomatic patient who has a blood test done for an unrelated reason.  Symptoms When it is symptomatic,…

September 26, 2018 Word for Word Media
The chance of finding a matching bone marrow donor for a critically ill patient is just one in 100 000. But thanks to medical technology, shared international databases and the spirit of global cooperation, the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) regularly finds that perfect match. For a child or adult with a life-threatening blood disease, like leukaemia, a bone marrow transplant can offer the greatest gift imaginable:  a second chance at life.  Bone marrow transplantation is unique medical work. It involves destroying an individual’s entire immune system and replacing it with one from somebody in the general population who’s…