Leukemia (Pediatric)

Leukemia is a blood cancer that occurs when white blood cells in the bone marrow grow out of control. While it’s the most common form of childhood cancer, it’s also the most curable form of cancer in children, especially when caught early. The experienced team of multidisciplinary specialists at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oncology Program has the diagnostic capabilities and cutting-edge therapies, including novel clinical trials, to best treat leukemia. And our Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program is one of the largest and most innovative in the country.

We treat all forms of childhood leukemia, including:

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Acute myelogenous leukemia
  • Other uncommon leukemias, such as juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia

Common symptoms include weakness, bone pain, fever, easy bleeding and bruising. Leukemia is diagnosed with a blood test. Other tests, such as flow cytometry, which examines cells and chromosomes under a microscope, is used to identify the type of leukemia, and chromosome studies determine how to best treat the leukemia. We also use newer diagnostic techniques, including minimal residual disease measurement, to help our pediatric oncologists determine how well treatment is working and how to modify the therapy when needed.

Treatments vary depending on type of leukemia as well as other variables, but can include chemotherapy, targeted biological therapy (using the patient’s immune system to help fight cancer and minimize side effects) and bone marrow transplant. Pediatric oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians make up our Tumor Board, a panel of specialists that meet regularly to discuss each patient’s case and create a coordinated, individualized plan of care.

We also have several clinical trials available for novel therapies in conjunction with the Children’s Oncology Group, our own Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium and Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia. In fact, we are one of only 16 centers in the country that are part of the Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia, responsible for developing new and innovative trials for relapsed or resistant leukemia.

Our Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program has one of the highest 100-day survival rates following bone marrow transplant. It is internationally known for its research into novel approaches to make transplantation safer and more effective. The program is accredited by the Foundation for Accreditation of Hematopoietic Cell Therapy and is also approved by the National Marrow Donor Program, the Southwest Oncology Group and the Children's Cancer Group. Learn more about the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program.

Through our Stem Cell Initiatives, our researchers are developing a better understanding of leukemia stem cells to create better clinical trials and revolutionize how we treat cancer.

Schedule an appointment by calling us at 734-936-9814.