Leukemia is a type of blood cancer. It develops in the bone marrow and is the most common form of cancer in children.
Types of Leukemia in Children
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a leukemia that affects cells called lymphocytes. About 80 percent of children who are diagnosed with leukemia have acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It develops quickly, over a period of days or weeks.
Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) affects cells called granulocytes (such as neutrophils or eosinophils). It is the second most common form of leukemia in children and accounts for about 20 percent of all childhood leukemia cases in the U.S. Like ALL, it develops quickly, over days or weeks.
Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is extremely rare in children. Unlike ALL and AML, it develops slowly, over a period of months or years.
Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML) is a rare type of blood cancer that occurs when bone marrow production of white blood cells becomes severely disregulated. JMML accounts for only about one to two percent of childhood leukemia cases
Leukemia affects around 3,800 children each year in the United States, which is about 30 percent of childhood cancers. Leukemia affects both children and adults, but it is most common in children aged 2 to 6 years old. The disease occurs slightly more frequently in males than females, and it is more common in Caucasian children than in children of other races.
Leukemia treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's
Children and teens with leukemia are treated through the
Leukemia Program at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber/Boston Children's has played a key role in refining treatment for childhood leukemia, and we continue to be a world leader in
leukemia clinical trials designed to increase cure rates, decrease treatment-related side effects and improve care for long-term survivors. The Leukemia Program also offers families the chance to have their child's leukemia cells molecularly profiled, which may help identify opportunities for
Learn more about childhood leukemia
Find in-depth details on
leukemia in children on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's website, including leukemia causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.