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Leukemia - Treatment Overview

For CML continued...

For people who are diagnosed with CML in the later stages (accelerated or blast crisis phase), treatment may involve having chemotherapy or a tyrosine kinase inhibitor before having a stem cell transplant. This can increase the chances of a successful transplant.

Additional information about leukemia is provided by the National Cancer Institute.

  • For Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, see www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/adultALL/Patient.
  • For Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia, see www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/adultAML/Patient.
  • For Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, see www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/CLL/Patient.
  • For Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, see www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/CML/Patient.
  • For Hairy Cell Leukemia, see www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/hairy-cell-leukemia/Patient.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials play a very important part in the treatment of leukemia. Clinical trials test the latest drugs and other new treatments. They have made it possible for many people who have leukemia to live longer. People who are in clinical trials get all the recommended treatments for their cancer and are closely watched.

Talk to your doctor about whether there is a clinical trial that might be good for you. For more information, see www.cancer.gov/clinical_trials/ or http://clinicaltrials.gov.

Leukemia in children

Treatments for children who have leukemia aren't the same as treatments for adults who have leukemia. After the leukemia has been treated, children may need to be monitored for treatment side effects that may appear months or years later.

For childhood ALL

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common leukemia in children. Treatments for ALL in children aren't the same as treatments for adults, and are different for infants, children, and adolescents. Treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy with stem cell transplant, and targeted therapy.

The 5-year survival rates for childhood ALL are:6

  • For infants up to a year old, 62 out of 100 infants.
  • For children ages 1 to 14, about 89 out of 100 children.
  • For adolescents 15 to 19, about 50 out of 100 adolescents.

Improved treatments have increased survival in infants, children, and adolescents. These numbers are taken from reports that were done at least 10 years ago, before current treatments were available. So your child's actual chances of survival are likely to be higher than these numbers.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 14, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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