Chemotherapy is an important part of treatment for many patients with leukemia, particularly those who are not eligible to take part in clinical research studies or for other reasons. It is given in two phases, with the goal of destroying abnormal leukemia cells.
Induction therapy is given to induce (cause) a complete remission, or absence of leukemia, in the bone marrow. At Roswell Park, induction treatment is provided in a state-of-the art inpatient unit staffed by a team of nurses who focus exclusively on leukemia patients. Because chemotherapy can also damage healthy cells, patients receiving induction therapy at Roswell Park spend approximately one month in the hospital so their health can be monitored closely.
To offer the best chance of destroying any leftover leukemia cells and prevent the disease from coming back (relapsing), additional rounds of high-dose chemotherapy agents are given monthly on an outpatient basis for several months. This is called consolidation or intensification therapy. Treatment is provided in our specialized Leukemia Clinic, located on the ground floor of the Roswell Park hospital.