Leukemia in Children

This information is useful for children
A mother holds her sick child's hand, comforting her.
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Yale Medicine has extensive experience treating pediatric leukemia.
  • Our physicians use the most advanced and effective treatments for children with this cancer.
  • Immunotherapy is playing an increasing role in our treatment of pediatric leukemia.

More than 50 years ago, it was rare for any child to survive childhood leukemia. Happily that situation has changed for the better. With advances in treatment, not only do children with the disease have an 85-to-90 percent survival rate, but many also go on to live happy, productive lives.

Leukemia is the most common type of childhood cancer that we treat at Yale Medicine, and one in which our physicians have extensive experience.

Leukemia is cancer of the bone marrow, which is the factory for all of the blood cells in the body. Pediatric leukemia refers to this type of cancer when it occurs in patients 18 years of age or younger. It can affect children differently from adults, and many types of pediatric leukemia are more treatable than they would be in an adult. 

Leukemia is often described as being acute or chronic. Acute leukemias develop more rapidly. Chronic leukemia progresses relatively slowly. 

The most common and treatable form of pediatric leukemia is acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Other acute forms include acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and hybrid or mixed lineage leukemia. Chronic forms include chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML) or chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).