Best treatments for leukemia

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At diagnosis, many parents do not know how to find the best doctors and treatments for their child. State-of-the-art care is available from physicians who participate in the Children's Oncology Group (COG). This study group, composed of pediatric surgeons and oncologists, neurologists, radiation oncologists, researchers, and nurses, provides the best possible current treatments for leukemia and conducts studies to discover better therapies and supportive care for children with all types of cancer. Some individual centers of excellence design their own trials. For further information, read Chapter 4, Clinical Trials.

Treatment of leukemia includes one or more of the following:

Chemotherapy

• Bone marrow transplant (BMT)

• Peripheral blood stem cell transplant (PBSCT)

• Radiation therapy

Research continues to evaluate new types of treatment. At the present time, areas of exploration include new chemotherapy drugs (drugs that kill cancer cells) and targeted therapies (drugs aimed at certain biological features of specific cancer cells). The next sections provide overviews of the diseases and their treatments. For more detailed information, refer to the chapters on chemotherapy, radiation, and transplantation.

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