Almost 80% of Cuban children with leukemia treated successfully

(AIN) – Almost 80% of children with leukemia in Cuba have been cured of this type of cancer, the most frequent among children worldwide, according to Dr. Sergio Machín, Hematology specialist and clinical pediatrician at the country’s Hematology and Immunology Institute (IHI), who explained that this accomplishment is on a par with results in developed nations.

He clarified that acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignant disease in this age group and was the first to be treated. Cuba is currently following a new comprehensive treatment regimen with these young patients, in conjunction with 14 other countries. Among those participating in the international research project are Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, in Latin America, and others predominately in Europe.

There have been several treatment strategies developed since the 1970’s, with new resources added over the years. Implementation of the protocol used currently in Cuba began in 2009, and has led to this promising level of success, the doctor explained.

Treatment is offered in seven Cuban institutions – two in Havana, along with others in Pinar del Río, Villa Clara, Camagüey, Holguín and Santiago de Cuba. 

There are approximately 70 new cases of leukemia diagnosed every year in Cuba, 75% are lymphoblastic, and can often be cured, allowing children to lead normal, productive lives, Dr. Sergio Machín said.