Childhood Leukemia Overview

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Treating Leukemia in Children TOPICS

Targeted therapy for childhood leukemia

In recent years, new drugs that are aimed at certain parts of cancer cells have been developed. These are called targeted drugs. They work differently from standard chemotherapy drugs. They sometimes work when chemo drugs don’t, and they often have less severe side effects. Some of these drugs may be useful in certain cases of childhood leukemia, such as in children with CML.

These drugs are taken daily as pills. Possible side effects include diarrhea, nausea, muscle pain, fatigue, and skin rashes. Often these side effects are mild. A common side effect is swelling around the eyes or in the hands or feet. These drugs may also slow a child’s growth, especially if used before puberty.

Last Medical Review: 11/11/2013
Last Revised: 02/03/2014