Childhood ALL Treatment

Phases of Childhood ALL Treatment

Childhood ALL treatment usually has three phases, which include:
 
  • Induction therapy: This is the first phase of childhood ALL treatment. Its purpose is to kill the leukemia cells in the blood and bone marrow, which will put the leukemia into remission.
 
  • Consolidation/intensification therapy: This is the second phase of childhood ALL treatment that begins once the leukemia is in remission. The purpose of consolidation/intensification therapy is to kill any remaining leukemia cells that may not be active but that could begin to regrow and cause a relapse.
 
  • Maintenance therapy: This is the third phase of childhood ALL treatment. Its purpose is to kill any remaining leukemia cells that may regrow and cause a relapse. In most cases, the cancer treatments are given in lower doses than those used for induction and consolidation/intensification therapy.
 
Treatment called central nervous system (CNS) sanctuary therapy is usually given during each phase of therapy. CNS sanctuary therapy is given to patients because chemotherapy that is given by mouth or injected into a vein may not reach leukemia cells in the CNS (brain and spinal cord). The cells are able to find "sanctuary" (hide) in the CNS. CNS sanctuary therapy and radiation therapy are able to reach leukemia cells in the CNS and are given to kill the leukemia cells and prevent the cancer from recurring (coming back). CNS sanctuary therapy is also called CNS prophylaxis.
 

Childhood ALL Treatment Options

Three types of standard childhood ALL treatments that are used include:
 
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy with stem cell transplant.
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