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Conditions We Treat

Leukemia & Lymphoma

The team at Phoenix Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders treats all forms of leukemia and lymphoma. Some examples include:

  • Acute leukemias:
    • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The most common type of leukemia in children. In ALL, the bone marrow makes too many abnormal lymphoblasts, a type of immature white blood cell.
    • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The second most common type of leukemia in children. In AML, the bone marrow makes too many abnormal myeloblasts, a type of immature white blood cell.
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). CML is a myeloproliferative disorder. In CML, the bone marrow makes too many of a wide variety of myeloid cells due a very specific mutation. CML is uncommon in children. In addition to CML, several other types of myeloproliferative disorders are also caused by increased bone marrow production of one or more kinds of myeloid cells. These disorders are very rare in children.
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). In this condition, the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells (white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets). Often some of the cells that are made are abnormal. In some cases, myelodysplastic syndrome can lead to AML.
  • Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML). In JMML, the bone marrow makes too many abnormal myeloid cells and monocytes. This rare blood cancer is more common in children with certain disorders such as Noonan syndrome. In addition to JMML, some other types of blood disorders have combined myeloproliferative (too many cells) and myelodysplastic (abnormal cells) features. These other myeloproliferative and myelodysplastic disorders are very rare in children.
  • Lymphomas: These types of cancers result from abnormal growth of lymphocytes, most often in the lymph nodes. There are three types of lymphocytes in the body: B cells, T cells and NK cells. Lymphoma is classified by which type of lymphocyte is growing abnormally. B-cell lymphomas are most common, but T-cell lymphomas also occur in children. NK-cell lymphomas are very rare. 
    • Hodgkin lymphoma. Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of B-cell lymphoma that more frequently affects teens and young adults. The treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma is quite different from other types of lymphoma, so it is common to refer to Hodgkin lymphoma as one type of lymphoma and all other lymphomas together as non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
    • Lymphoblastic lymphoma: Lymphoblastic lymphoma is similar to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). However, in lymphoblastic lymphoma, the lymphoblasts occupy the lymph nodes or thymus with few or no blasts in the bone marrow. 
    • Burkitt lymphoma: Burkitt lymphoma is a B-cell lymphoma that is caused by a mutation that makes B cells grow very quickly. Burkitt lymphoma is more common in children than adults.
    • Anaplastic large cell lymphoma: T-cell lymphomas are not common in children, but anaplastic large cell lymphoma is one T-cell lymphoma that can occur in children and teens.
  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH): Histiocytes are a type of myeloid cell that can be found throughout the body (including tissues other than the bone marrow, blood and lymph nodes). LCH is a histiocytic disorder that can occur in children. Other histiocyte disorders are very rare in children. Management of histiocyte disorders depends on the type of abnormal histiocyte as well as your child’s medical history and other factors. Treatment may range from observation to anti-cancer type treatment.
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