Childhood ALL Treatment
Current childhood ALL treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy with stem cell transplant. Childhood ALL treatment is complex and involves multiple drugs given in precise schedules over a period of two to three years. Choosing the most appropriate childhood ALL treatment is a decision that ideally involves the patient, the family, and the healthcare team.
Different types of treatment are available for patients with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some treatments are being tested in clinical trials.
Current childhood ALL treatment options include:
- Radiation therapy
- Chemotherapy with stem cell transplant.
There are also three phases of childhood ALL treatment:
- Induction therapy
- Consolidation/intensification therapy
- Maintenance therapy.
Choosing the most appropriate childhood ALL treatment is a decision that ideally involves the patient, the family, and the healthcare team.
Childhood ALL treatment is complex and involves multiple drugs given in precise schedules over a period of two to three years. Therefore, children with ALL should have their treatment planned by a team of doctors with expertise in treating childhood leukemia. A pediatric oncologist, who is a doctor that specializes in treating children with cancer, will manage your child's treatment. The pediatric oncologist may refer you to other pediatric doctors who also have experience in treating children with leukemia and who specialize in certain areas of medicine.
These specialists may include:
- Medical oncologist
- Pediatric surgeon
- Radiation oncologist
- Pediatric nurse specialist
- Social worker
- Rehabilitation specialist
Regular followup exams are important, because side effects can result from treatment long after treatment ends. Radiation therapy to the head may affect the child's developing brain and may cause second cancers, especially brain tumors. Early diagnosis and treatment of these secondary brain tumors may help lower the risk they present.