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Physicians Fighting Leukemia Through Treatment and Research

February 23, 2013

A combination of both current treatments and research is improving treatment options for patients with leukemia. In conjunction with Drs. Pam Becker, Vivian Oehler and Tony Blau, of the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, are developing a clinical trial for patients with leukemia. In addition, Dr. Tony Blau works at the University of Washington’s Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, searching for better cancer treatment options. 

Leukemia and lymphoma come in many different forms, but all are a type of cancer of the blood-forming tissue in the body, such as bone marrow and lymph. As a result, a large number of abnormal blood cells are created and deposited in the bloodstream. Tony Blau and other oncologists strive to find the best treatment strategy for each patient, utilizing medications as well as procedures like radiation and chemotherapy. However, ongoing research is essential to improving therapies and patient health.

One promising area of research is in stem cells. Stem cells are present in everyone, and divide into the various cells the body uses. Scientists believe leukemia recurs because not all the cancerous stem cells are eradicated. By transplanting stem cells or discovering new ways to target stem cells directly, researchers and doctors like Tony Blau are helping break new ground in the fight against leukemia.

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