How We Diagnose Childhood Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

Expert Care and Treatment for Childhood Blood Cancers

The Hematologic Malignancy Center at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is one of the top pediatric leukemia and lymphoma treatment centers in the world. In addition to treating blood cancers, our Center also treats histiocytosis, a condition that shares some of the characteristics of cancer.

Childhood Hematologic Malignancy Center

Your child's physician may order different tests to determine whether your child has CML. In addition to a physician examination and history, some of these tests may include:

  • Complete medical history and physical exam.
  • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy to remove and test bone marrow. In an aspiration biopsy, a fluid specimen is removed from the bone marrow. In a needle biopsy, a small piece of the bone marrow is removed.
  • Complete blood count. A measurement of the size, number, and maturity of different blood cells in a specific volume of your child's blood.
  • Additional blood tests, which may include blood chemistries, evaluation of liver and kidney functions, and genetic studies.
  • Spinal tap/lumbar puncture. A special needle is placed into the spinal canal in your child's lower back to measure the pressure in your child's spinal canal and brain. A small amount of cerebral spinal fluid (called CSF — the fluid that bathes your child's brain and spinal cord) can be removed and tested for infection or other problems.

There may be other diagnostic tests that your doctor will discuss with you, depending on your child's individual situation. After we complete all necessary tests, our experts meet to review and discuss what they have learned about your child's condition. We will meet with you and your family to discuss the results and outline the best treatment options, including clinical trials, if applicable.