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Childhood Leukemia Treatment

The Children's Cancer Hospital's leukemia treatment team includes experts in all forms of cancer therapy. They collaborate on each case to decide the best possible treatment for every child.

Chemotherapy, using drugs to kill cancer cells, is the most common treatment for pediatric leukemia. In recent years, several promising new drugs studied at MD Anderson have since become standard treatments. Many children with all stages of leukemia benefit from clinical trials of new drugs and drug combinations that seek more effective treatments with minimal impact on quality of life.

A stem cell transplant may be required for children whose leukemia has returned or has not responded to standard treatments. Stem cells, which are immature blood cells, are taken from the bone marrow of the patient before cancer treatment (autologous), or from a donor whose marrow most closely matches the patient (allogeneic). 

Stem cells may also be collected from a newborn's umbilical cord and placenta and used for a cord blood transplant. These cells are used to replace diseased stem cells destroyed by cancer treatment, creating a new "blood factory" that will hopefully produce healthy, mature white blood cells.

Radiation therapy may be used when leukemia has affected the brain and central nervous system or is likely to spread to these areas. Beams of radiation are precisely aimed at the treatment area from outside the body.

If your child has been diagnosed with leukemia, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Our Childhood Leukemia Clinical Trials

The most innovative treatments for childhood leukemias are offered as part of clinical trials, which are closely monitored studies to test the safety and effectiveness of new treatments. Go to MD Anderson's list of current pediatric clinical trials to see if your child might be eligible.

You can also visit our Clinical Trials database or speak to your doctor.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • The Children’s Cancer Hospital is within the No. 1 cancer center in America
  • Access to novel therapies and state-of-the-art technologies before most children’s hospitals
  • We see more types of cancer than any other children’s hospital in Texas
  • Family-centered care that actively involves parents in their child’s treatment
  • A strong cancer research program focused on developing new therapies for pediatric patients
  • Comprehensive support services such as an accredited school program, creative arts, child life and career counseling
  • An Adolescent and Young Adult Program that specializes in the unique medical and psychological needs of patients aged 15-25

Childhood Leukemia Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

Childhood leukemia is treated in our Children's Cancer Hospital by our expert team.

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