Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Treatment for leukemia

Specific treatment for leukemia will be determined by your child’s physician based on:

  • Your child’s age, overall health and medical history.
  • Extent of the disease.
  • Your child’s tolerance for certain medications, procedures or therapies.
  • Expectations for the course of the disease.
  • Your opinion or preference.

Treatment usually begins by addressing the presenting symptoms such as anemia, bleeding and/or infection. In addition, treatment for leukemia may include (alone or in combination) the following methods:

  • Chemotherapy.
  • Intrathecal medications/chemotherapy – medications are inserted through a needle into the spinal cord into the area called the subarachnoid space.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Bone marrow transplantation.
  • Biological therapy.
  • Medications – to prevent or treat damage to other systems of the body caused by leukemia treatment.
  • Medications – for nausea and side effects of treatment.
  • Blood transfusions – red blood cells, platelets.]
  • Antibiotics – to prevent/treat infections.
  • Continuous follow-up care – to determine response to treatment, detect recurrent disease and manage late effects of treatment.