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Cancer Health Center

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Leukemia - Treatment Overview

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.

For childhood AML and other myeloid diseases

Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) in children is grouped with other myeloid diseases that affect the blood and bone marrow, including chronic myelogenous leukemia. Treatment for each type is different, but include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant, and targeted therapy.

Survival rates vary widely, depending on the individual child. The 5-year survival rates for childhood AML are:6

  • For children younger than 15, about 58 out of 100 children.
  • For adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, about 40 out of 100.

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.

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

  • For Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, see www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/childALL/Patient.
  • For Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Other Myeloid Malignancies, see www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/childAML/Patient.
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