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Leukemia is the most common form of cancer seen in children, affecting more than 3,000 children in the United States each year. While a diagnosis of this illness seems overwhelming, there is cause to be optimistic. Important scientific breakthroughs in the treatment of leukemia are being made and tested at the University of Chicago Medicine.
Our pediatric cancer care team has the extensive experience needed to provide young leukemia patients outstanding clinical care — offering both the latest investigational therapies as well as established treatments for all types of leukemia. In fact, the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital was the first hospital in Chicago certified to offer CAR T-cell therapy for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children and young adults.
Leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood. When children have leukemia, their bone marrow makes white blood cells that do not mature properly. These unhealthy cells rapidly reproduce, crowding out the healthy bone marrow cells that produce infection-fighting white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Leukemia can occur at any age, but is most commonly seen in children between 2 and 6 years old. Little is known about the cause of most leukemia, and it typically affects otherwise healthy children. Some children with certain genetic syndromes are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
The major types of childhood leukemia include:
Our pediatric cancer care team has the extensive experience needed to provide young leukemia patients outstanding clinical care.
At Comer Children’s, our dynamic multidisciplinary team approach brings together years of clinical experience with cutting edge research, providing the best possible care for every child and teen. The team includes:
Medical care is provided in a family-centered environment — focused not only on the child, but also on the parents and siblings dealing with cancer in their family.
Recognizing that patients ages 15 through 30 often have different personal, psychosocial and medical needs than younger children and older adults, UChicago Medicine created the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program. Our team of adult and pediatric hematologists/oncologists optimizes care for young adults by developing individualized treatment plans, offering participation in national clinical trials and providing support tailored to this unique population. We help adolescent patients and their families navigate the medical challenges and personal issues of a leukemia diagnosis.
Our pediatric cancer physicians and researchers are members of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. These teams of researchers work collaboratively across scientific disciplines to explore and develop innovative ways to fight and cure cancer. Because of our high level of expertise and access to the latest therapies, patients from the Midwest, the nation and around the world come to our cancer program for treatment.
We provide a second opinion on the diagnosis or treatment plan of your child’s cancer or blood disease.
Comer Children’s pediatric oncologist helps toddler overcome childhood cancer.