Childhood cancer treatment optimization: new ways
Childhood cancer treatment optimization: new ways to improve outcomes
In the past, childhood cancer was treated with aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. But these treatments can cause long-term side effects and do not always work. Today, doctors are using a combination of treatments to improve outcomes for children with cancer.
The most common types of childhood cancers are leukemia and brain tumors. Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells and brain tumors are growths on the brain or spine. Leukemia is more common in children than brain tumors, but both types can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy alone or in combination with each other. The goal of treatment is to destroy all the cancer cells before they spread throughout your child’s body and make him or her very sick again. In some cases, doctors may use targeted therapies such as monoclonal antibodies that bind only to proteins found on certain types of cancer cells. These medicines help lower the number of cancer cells in your child’s body so that they cannot grow quickly anymore or even die off naturally without causing too many side effects (like hair loss).