There are about 4,220 new cases of childhood leukemia expected to be diagnosed in 2008 in the United States (for children 0-19 years of age). Induction therapy for children with AML starts with two or three drugs. Stronger treatment is needed after a child with AML is in remission. This is called intensive consolidation therapy. It is given because usually some AML cells remain after induction therapy. These AML cells do not show up in standard blood or marrow tests. Consolidation therapy in children includes a number of chemotherapies
About four out of five children with AML go into remission. About half of children with AML have no signs of disease after five years. Most of these children are considered cured.
AML treatment is less likely to bring about a remission or cure when children:
• Have acute myelogenous leukemia with very high white cell counts.
• Are younger than 1 year of age.
• Have certain chromosomes in their AML cells that are not normal.
Allogeneic stem cell transplants may be used in children who are not doing well or who relapse after high-dose chemotherapy. Doctors will discuss the benefits and risks with parents and older children.
-per Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. For more details go to: http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/hm_lls