Phase 1: ALL induction therapy
Because ALL progresses quickly, intense treatment to put the disease in remission often starts soon after diagnosis. This typically means getting a combination of chemotherapy drugs along with a steroid in the hospital over several days. If you have Philadelphia chromosome-positive ALL (PH+ ALL) you’ll also receive a drug that targets the BCR-ABL gene.
Your inpatient care will be at the SCCA inpatient hospital at University of Washington Medical Center. The medical center was named a Magnet hospital for its outstanding nursing care. Research shows patient outcomes are better at Magnet hospitals.
We know people prefer to be at home, so we provide as much of your care as possible as an outpatient. Offering infusion services 365 days a year at the SCCA outpatient clinic on Lake Union helps us keep your hospital stay shorter.
Phase 2: ALL consolidation therapy
About 80 percent of people with newly diagnosed ALL enter remission after induction therapy. Consolidation therapy is meant to prevent a relapse. It involves chemotherapy, steroids and targeted therapy and usually lasts a few weeks to a few months.
If your leukemia does not respond well to induction therapy, your doctors will recommend a different treatment regimen. In this case, or if your leukemia has particular features that suggest it might be harder to treat, your doctors may also recommend a bone marrow transplant to try to prevent relapse.
Phase 3: ALL maintenance therapy
Most patients in remission go on maintenance therapy to lower the risk of a recurrence. This phase may last for a few years. It usually consists of lower doses of chemotherapy and targeted therapies. Some people in remission have a bone marrow transplant.