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Chemotherapy as a Childhood AML 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. 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 (called systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column (intrathecal chemotherapy), an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (called regional chemotherapy). Combination chemotherapy is treatment that uses more than one anticancer drug.
Intrathecal chemotherapy may be used as childhood AML treatment when AML has spread, or may spread, to the brain and spinal cord. When intrathecal chemotherapy is 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.
The way the chemotherapy is given will depend on the type of cancer that is being treated.
Radiation Therapy as a Childhood AML 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 as a childhood AML treatment when AML has spread, or may spread, to the brain and spinal cord. This is called central nervous system (CNS) sanctuary therapy or CNS prophylaxis.