What’s new in childhood leukemia research?
Research into all aspects of childhood leukemia is now being done at many medical centers and hospitals.
Scientists are making great progress in understanding how changes in DNA (the substance that holds information on cell growth and function) inside bone marrow cells can cause them to change into leukemia cells. Today, there are much better tests for finding the disease and for telling exactly what kind of leukemia a child has and how well treatment is working. For example, one test (called PCR) can help tell how much of the leukemia has been destroyed by treatment, and whether a relapse will occur if further treatment is not given.
Clinical trials are studying why some children with leukemia have a relapse, which children need more intense treatment, which drugs work the best, and whether natural substances made by the body can help the immune system fight the leukemia cells. These and many other issues are being addressed in clinical trials. Answers to these questions will mean better treatment of childhood leukemia in the future.
Last Medical Review: 11/11/2013
Last Revised: 11/11/2013