COVID-2019 Alert

The latest information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, including vaccine clinics for children ages 5 years old and older.

La información más reciente sobre el nuevo Coronavirus de 2019, incluidas las clínicas de vacunación para niños de 5 años en adelante.


Pediatric Leukemia and Lymphoma Treatment Options

Pediatric leukemia treatment options

The majority of our leukemia patients are enrolled in clinical trials and receive a combination of immunotherapy, chemotherapy and other drugs, and stem cell therapy, depending on the type of leukemia and the patient’s needs. We work with each patient and his or her family to develop a custom treatment plan.

Our Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program provides holistic treatment of leukemia patients who are between the ages of 15 and 29, helping to meet the needs of a group usually not well served by standard care environments for children or adults. The program brings together Stanford experts to deliver personalized care in a unique environment that caters to the specific needs of the adolescent and young adult age group.

Clinical trials

Researchers and physicians at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford are breaking new ground in the promising field of cancer immunotherapy. By engineering custom versions of patients’ T-cells to include a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and then returning the cells to the patient, the patient’s immune system can identify and kill tumor cells.

So far, this approach has been effective in targeting acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). In clinical trials, we are already seeing 80 percent response rates in children with ALL who had prior relapses or no other treatment options.

The team has started a first-in-human trial using a CAR to target two different B-cell ALL surface proteins at once to stop the cancer from having time to adapt and evade the immune system.

Our hospital is also one of four centers outside of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee with access to two cutting-edge clinical trials for leukemia patients.

The first trial is for patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and customizes treatment based on each patient’s DNA in the hopes of increasing the chances of success and decreasing the side effects of treatment. ALL survival rates are now above 93 percent, and this trial seeks to boost those rates even further while also improving the patient’s quality of life. For example, patients with certain genes are more susceptible to side effects from a powerful anti-leukemia drug that make it difficult for them to walk normally after treatment. If we know a patient has that gene, we can lower the dose of the culprit drug and incorporate physical therapy during treatment to improve the odds of the patient living a cancer-free life that allows for healthy movement.

The second trial, co-developed by Stanford investigators, is for patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). It will study whether giving AML patients a drug called DMTi before chemotherapy will help make treatment more effective. DTMi changes the DNA of leukemia cells, possibly making them more sensitive to chemotherapy.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is also one of a few children’s hospitals in the country that routinely performs minimal residual disease testing to detect extremely small numbers of leukemia cells in patients’ blood to help inform treatment decisions.

Our researchers are also working to develop ways to predict the outcome of each individual patient’s cancer treatment at diagnosis, helping us switch to another treatment if needed without wasting valuable time.

Pediatric lymphoma treatment options

Since the 1970s, our physicians have led the development of lymphoma treatments that have become increasingly more effective and safe.

We work with every family to develop a lymphoma treatment plan that’s right for each patient. Chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Some patients may require radiation therapy, as well. Our multidisciplinary care team includes internationally renowned physicians, pathologists and radiation oncologists, and every case is discussed by a group of experts.

Clinical trials

The vast majority of our lymphoma patients are enrolled in clinical trials. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is proud to partner with leading pediatric cancer centers like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center to develop new treatments. Our hospital is the only one in California to offer these groundbreaking clinical trials. You can find a list of current clinical trials for pediatric Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on the Stanford Cancer Institute website. We are also studying the use of immunotherapy and cell therapy — two innovative new treatments that use the body’s own cells to fight cancer — as treatments for lymphoma.

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