Has anyone with RA also had leukaemia?

jandod
jandod Member Posts: 12
I have rheumatoid arthritis and in 2011 had leukaemia. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has both conditions as I understand they can be linked - both blood conditions.

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,092
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm on this forum a lot (OK, every day :oops: ) and I don't remember anyone ever mentioning that they had leukaemia.

    I've never thought of R.A. as a disease of the blood either. Are you sure about that?
  • jandod
    jandod Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well I suppose that is why rheumatoid 'moves about' the body ie one day in a knee, another in a shoulder, another in the wrists and why one of the ways of measuring disease activity is by monitoring the CRP or ESR when you have a blood test. It is certainly a lot more complicated than osteo. As for leukaemia my rheumatologist told me it has a link to RA and funnily enough some of the drugs are similar eg Rituximab and Methotrexate are used for both. Don't know whether that makes any sense!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,092
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hm, that's an interesting way of looking at it which I hadn't considered before. I don't really think RA 'moves' about the body. I rather wish mine did. Once it's arrived in a joint it just seems to bed down and make itself at home :roll:

    If your rheumatologist says there can be a link between RA and leukaemia I'll believe him/her. I know nothing of rituximab but I believe meth was first used as a chemotherapy drug for many cancers not just leukaemia. I think I first had it when I had breast cancer.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My arthritis hasn't moved around my body, like Sticky's it's arrived in a joint, stayed there and then affected another joint, usually in a parallel manner. There is a form that does vary from day-to-day in that one joint will be sore one day then OK the next whilst another protests but I can't remember it's name. :oops:

    Drugs can overlap in what they treat, I'm on three that can be used for other health conditions. I have never regarded RA as being a blood disease - it can be diagnosed by blood tests because i has an auto-immune cause but that's it. RA affects the inside of joints with inflammation, my auto-immmune arthritis affects my synovial tissues and joint linings but the meds to treat both sorts are the same. DD
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The connection is a complex one involving new blood components which originate in the bone marrow, as do white cells in which this mechanism fails in leukemia, and our bodies' innate immune system (as opposed to the part that responds to bacteria/viruses).

    The connection is the basis for research into a cure for autoimmune disease with bone marrow transplant. These transplants can cause autoimmune disease in the recipient.

    Too bad the research will take many years to prove a cure, but it does show some promise :) .

    If anyone wants to read the somewhat complex science behind this, I can find articles for you.

    xxAnna
  • jandod
    jandod Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for the reply Anna. I would be very interested to read further on this complex topic, as you suggest, and would be grateful if you could point me in the direction of the articles to which you refer.
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi; Here are some articles for you. They are scientific not general interest.

    The basic theory is that bone marrow abnormalities caused by various things (genetics, poss. chemical exposure, etc) cause abnormalities in blood cell components and the immune system, including white cells contributing to diseases like autoimmune, proliferative (cancers), and marrow failure diseases like aplastic anemia. The marrow failure diseases are thought to result from an autoimmune attack on the marrow itself. There is also a theory that chronic immune stimulation as in autoimmune disease can contribute the proliferation of white cells in leukemia.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3366644/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15473894

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21690473

    I have looked into this myself because I have had a long-term benzene exposure and wondered if this was partly why I developed an autoimmune disease, ie through damage to bone marrow from that exposure. My dad had lymphoma and I have had some blood abnormalities over the years, so I've just ending up reading a lot about immunity, blood and bone marrow physiology. I have some biology training but I am not a medical professional, so my research was purely for my own interest :)

    Important note to readers (and worriers): Just because there is an potential bone marrow connection between autoimmunity and blood cancers does not mean you need worry about getting cancer any more than a slight increase in normal risk. (I don't want to scare anyone with my post) There are just very interesting physiological processes involving the bone marrow, immune system and blood components for those who are interested in biology.

    Hope the articles are helpful. If I help further let me know. What type of leukemia did you have?

    xxAnna
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Topic moved from LWA to 'Chat to Helplines' Forum, as per advice from Helplines...

    ModeratorIA
  • jandod
    jandod Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Anna
    Thank you for your lengthy reply. I will be having a look at the links you have given when I have a bit more time but I am looking forward to reading them. In answer to your question, I had acute promyelocytic leukaemia, evidently a relatively rare but treatable form. I have been extremely lucky!
    Jan
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,772
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi jandod and everyone,

    Thanks for your posts to us over in Helplines towers. I can see that you've already got some very thorough information on this thread. I don't think we can produce a lot more information on this.

    Using my laypersons general knowledge I'd mention the following. Rheumatolgists are increasingly aware that people who are diagnosed with the auto immune arthritis conditions such as rheumatoid may have other auto immune conditions (when you look back in detail over someone's medical history) and that the specialists talk about these immune system 'assaults' that may all add up to explaining the complicated journeys that may lead up to someone developing things like RA. There is increasing interest and focus on things that may damage someone's immune system as well as genetic factors that being looked at too. But what may be relevant for some people can be very different for others.

    As people have stressed so far in the threads, this information is not mentioned to worry anyone. If anyone is concerned, do please get in touch with us, or ring our freephone.

    kind regards

    Guy

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