Psoriasis and Leukemia, help!!!

Hey all,

Im 25years old and have been diagnosed with Severe Psoriasis. I have used Enbrel and currently i have been using Stelara as a means to be 99% clear. As of this Febuary 14th 2013(Some V day gift!) I was diagnosed with CML(Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia) Chronic Stage. I was started on Gleevec 40mg. My doctor said that i could take both the Gleevec and stelara with no problems. But when i went to my Dermotolgist i was informed that Stelara would not allow me to take the shots unless i was off the Gleevec for the Leukemia, Which i was told i would take for life. Any ideas or have anyone had this problem???

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Hi Reptilemedic....welcome to the family here. This has certainly been one hard blow for you, to receive that diagnosis. The positive note, of course, is that it is chronic leukemia, rather than acute. However, none of us like the sound of "leukemia" regardless of what type it is.

I assume that your psoriasis is in good shape, seeing you were aiming for 99% clear, which comes close to being unheard of. So I guess the attitude for you is to be happy the psoriasis is in good shape, seeing that you are not going to be able to take the Stelera.

There is a positive side to EVERYTHING Reptilemedic, and one needs to find the positive, and hold on tight! When we grab hold of the positive thoughts, we resist becoming the victim, and that is a good thing to resist. Yes, you have been dealt a hard blow, but you are young, have a good medical team, and ..if you so determine, you will live a full and blessed life.

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The problem is that the psoriasis was slowly starting to return. The last time i stopped the injections it came back 100% worse then before. Im afraid of that outcome happening again. Honestly im willing to take the chance of taking both the Stelara and the Gleevec but Stelara wont allow it.

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I am sorry to hear about your Leukemia diagnosis.... (and as you probably know, there is additional support under that heading within Inspire.com as well)

A casual online search for Enbrel + leukemia or Enbrel + MS, etc., can yield some very frightening accounts of persons encountering cancers and lymphomas, and other neuro-skeletal issues after using some of the biologics. For many, that aspect of potential 'down the road' side effects can be a deal-breaker for considering the biologics. It is important to mention, however, that much of what can show up online as particularly frightening data, can also change when put into statistical significance and comparative analysis. The mortality statistics can show cause of death -- but not always 'cause of disease' -- and I'm beginning to understand that sometimes, that's where the 'baby gets thrown out with the bathwater.'

The potential exists that your leukemia may be entirely unrelated to your Stelera use. I'm not trying to suggest otherwise, but just want to mention that possibility, as sometimes it's easy to say that, "Because B happened while A was in effect, therefore A must have helped cause B", etc

But when you find yourself in the statistical percentage of persons who are diagnosed with leukemia - all the numbers and statistics don't amount to squat --- what matters is that it is now impacting YOUR life --- and so NOW you need to find out how to address it and get it into remission or clearance as quickly as possible.

I think there is very sound rationale for the Stelera manufacturer's not wanting you to continue to use Stelera while on the leukemia medication. Since the 'inside your body' shelf life of Stelera is so much longer than Humira, Enbrel, and others -- if your condition requires hospitalization, it could be a very lengthy stay as you'd likely need to be monitored and treated until your body is back to minimal amounts of Stelera in your bloodstream.

Stelera is effective at immune suppression for an extended period of time -- and if you're dealing with the cellular issues of leukemia, it seems logical that they'd want your immune system to be fully operational and functioning a full capacity while your body prepares to battle the leukemia.

Since leukemia can always carry the potentiality of being life-threatening, it is going to trump skin disease / inflammation every time.

Here's the 'silver lining' to think about --- Many patients who undergo treatments for different blood issues, cancers and even heart issues will report that their psoriasis became minimal or disappeared during the cancer / leukemia treatments. The same thing happens with persons who are treated with steroids for other issues (especially heart steroid applications ) -- and their psoriasis subsides during the steroid treatment.

Be encouraged that you've got a good support team of people online here in the Inspire environment -- and also through the National Psoriasis Foundation. And for complications with leukemia, there are numerous sources of support - in person and online.

Try and not be stressed out by all of the news... (sometimes easier said than done, right?) because as you intently try to avoid the 'stress' and 'what -ifs' you'll improve your overall psoriasis health as well. Go slowly, and don't worry if your doctors put your psoriasis on the back burner while they deal with the leukemia issue first.

You'll get through it -- and once you've conquered the "L" battle, you'll be ready to ride forward and then get back to the home-turf wars of fighting psoriasis.

You're young... and smart --- you'll get through this!

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peace & healing

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Reptilemedic , Stay strong ! Don't lose hope . There are a new class of biologics in phase 3 trials now that just target the psoriasis and very little else . These new IL-17 drugs are miraculous . I'm in a trial study now and its been 4 days since my first injection and I'm seeing clearing already . If I got the placebo its working well loll . These new drugs should be on the market soon , hold on ! Google IL-17 psoriasis .

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Quest4Cure, great post. I had only recently become aware of the increased risk of Leukemia and lymphoma with Psoriasis. With further evaluations of the biologics I have found that they can't really distinguish the difference in L&L rates related to he biologics drugs because we have an inherently higher risk anyway. I had also wondered if Psoriasis would clear with chemo.

Reptilemedic, I would have serious concerns with you continuing your Stelara as your immune system will be challenged enough. I wish you luck and send prayers your way.

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Quest4cure , Your so right ! What a great post !

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Please please try Chinese acupuncture. I've had so much success with it. God bless.

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Well im being denied all biological options per the pharm companies. Its not an option and they cant recommended a biological. This sucks big time, its been less then a month and im already seeing a return of the psoriasis on my abdomen(Causing me pain) and face. My Dermatologist wants to try Phototherapy again, but my concern is the time it takes and that it had no effect the last time i tryed this option. I do know when we tryed that treatment it was with a tar lotion that i had to bathe in before treatment. I was wondering if anyone had any luck or experience with an Oral(systemic) with light treatment.

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