Our Innovative Approach
Our long-term follow-up care
Our Leukemia Program is committed to recognizing and reducing chemotherapy side effects and other late effects of treatment in long-term survivors. The leukemia treatment options we offer include innovative approaches that are specifically designed to reduce these late effects:
Patients treated with our Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) protocols are followed closely after the end of therapy, and assessed for any neuropsychologic effects (such as learning disabilities), cardiac dysfunction, growth disturbances and ophthalmologic abnormalities (such as cataracts). Assessments are conducted by highly skilled, experienced physicians and other clinicians with specific expertise in these areas.
Long-term survivors of ALL who have received cranial radiation can receive assistance from the School Liaison Program if they are having problems at school. This program consists of a multidisciplinary team who facilitate assessments and testing of children experiencing academic difficulties, designing individualized education plans for pediatric cancer survivors.
- We also have an established long-term follow-up program, the Perini Quality of Life Clinic. This program addresses the medical, psychosocial, and financial consequences of cancer survivorship.
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Consortium, headed by physicians at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston, is an international leader in ALL treatment and research. The consortium's achievements include:
- improving cure rates
- reducing chemotherapy-associated side effects during treatment
- identifying and reducing the risk of late effects from treatment, including learning disabilities, heart dysfunction and bone problems in survivors of childhood ALL
- developing new laboratory tests to identify patients who may require stronger or different treatments to prevent relapse
- characterizing chromosomal and molecular abnormalities in order to identify subsets of ALL that may be better treated with new or different therapies
- assessing and trying to improve patients' quality-of-life during and after therapy
We have also developed investigational therapies for refractory or relapsed disease, including: