Childhood ALL Treatment

Chemotherapy for Childhood ALL Treatment
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. Chemotherapy is the primary childhood ALL treatment option. The specific drugs that are used for chemotherapy are different for the various subtypes of ALL and are not the same for all patients.
 
When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (this is called systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly in the spinal column (intrathecal), a body cavity such as the abdomen, or an organ, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (this is called regionalized chemotherapy.) Combination chemotherapy is treatment that uses more than one anticancer drug. The way the chemotherapy is given will depend on the type of the cancer that is being treated.
 
Intrathecal chemotherapy may be used to treat childhood ALL that has spread, or may spread, to the brain and spinal cord. When used to prevent cancer from spreading to the brain and spinal cord, it is called central nervous system (CNS) sanctuary therapy or CNS prophylaxis. Intrathecal chemotherapy is given in addition to chemotherapy by mouth or vein.
 
Radiation Therapy for Childhood ALL Treatment
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. There are two types of radiation therapy: external radiation therapy and internal radiation therapy.
 
External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer. External radiation therapy may be used to treat childhood ALL that has spread, or may spread, to the brain and spinal cord. When used this way, it is called central nervous system (CNS) sanctuary therapy or CNS prophylaxis.
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