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Transfusions 101

What is a transfusion? And when does one receive a transfusion? A transfusion is the process of giving someone various blood components from a donor. Blood cannot be manufactured and it can only come from generous donors. About 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the US. Red blood cells are your body’s…

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Infection in Cancer Patients

What is an infection? Infection is invasion of the body by disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, virus, and fungi. Ordinarily, a healthy immune system can effectively fight off these pathogens. In severe cases, your physicians can prescribe antimicrobial agents to treat and eliminate most of these organisms. Why are cancer patients more prone to infections?…

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What is chemotherapy? Chemotherapy are medicines that are often used to treat cancer. There are many different types of chemotherapy and these medicines work in a variety of ways to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy agents are often medicines that kill rapidly growing cells. Cancer cells often grow very fast, making them highly susceptible to killing…

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What is Leukemia? Leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. It usually develops in the bone marrow- the spongy tissue inside the bones. The bone marrow is the “factory“ which produces all the cells in our blood. Here is a diagram of blood cell production with the different types of…

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Clinical Trials

What is a clinical trial? Clinical trials are research studies which involve the participation of people. They are conducted after a lot of preliminary work has been done in the research labs. Participants in clinical trials receive specific interventions according to the research plan developed by the investigators. These interventions may be treatment with medications,…

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What is Cancer Immunotherapy? Immunotherapy is a new class of cancer treatment that works to harness the innate powers of the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy works by either stimulating the patient’s own immune system to attack cancer cells or by treating the patient with another person’s immune cells to fight cancer cells.…

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Infant ALL

What is Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)? Infant ALL is a relatively uncommon type of leukemia and occurs in children less than 12 months of age. It occurs in approximately 2-4 percent of all childhood ALL cases. Research has shown that infant ALL represents a distinct and unique biological subtype of leukemia. The prognosis for…

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