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Curing Common Childhood Cancer

Editor’s Note: In this Special Blog, we continue our series on the 3rd of the 7 achievements of Pediatric research. These achievements are brought to you courtesy of the fabulous work by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) under its new campaign 7 Great Achievements in Pediatric Research.


No. 3: Curing a Common Childhood Cancer

Problem
Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is the most common child- hood cancer. In the United States alone, about 2,900 children and adolescents are diagnosed with ALL each year. In 1975, a diagnosis of ALL often meant death in the near future. Only 60% of children under 15 years of age survived 5 years, and only 28% of 15-19 year-olds survived 5 years.

Discovery
Cancer research has led to the creation of various medications and treatments that destroy cancer cells.
Research into various combinations of medications to treat ALL has yielded the now standard protocol of induction chemotherapy, which consists of vincristine, L-asparaginase, and corticosteroid for a 2-3 year period.

Outcome
Because of the last 40 years of research, 90% of newly diagnosed ALL pediatric patients are expected to have greater than 5 year survival.

For more on these achievements, please visit AAP.ORG