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Is there a cure for hematologic cancers?

Gary J. Schiller, MD
Hematology & Oncology
Depending on the cell of origin, there are cures for some hematologic cancers, including certain forms of leukemia and lymphoma. And while modern therapies have prolonged survival in other cancers such as multiple myeloma, there is not yet a cure.

Hematologic cancers can be cured in many individuals. As with most cancers, the possibility of cure increases with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Current treatment varies with the type of cancer, but it usually consists of chemotherapy with more than one drug, often combined with radiotherapy, stem cell transplantation, and/or immunotherapy. The possibility of cure is very dependent on the type of cancer. The best cure rates occur in children with acute leukemia (approximately 70 percent) and children or adults with Hodgkin lymphoma (approximately 80 percent). By contrast, acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and myeloma are associated with much lower chances of cure, especially in older individuals. The 5-year survival (with or without disease) in the 65 years and older age group is approximately 4.1 percent for AML and 25 percent for myeloma.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.