Matilda S
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Milestones in the treatment of childhood leukaemia

Matilda S
Posted by
12 Dec 2011

In 1960, when Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research was founded childhood leukaemia was a virtual death sentence. Today, thanks to breakthroughs in research, nine in ten children survive the most common form, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

This remarkable achievement is one of the greatest success stories of all the cancers.

Find out how treatment for childhood leukaemia has evolved:

Before the 1960s: very little was understood about leukaemia in children and cancer treatments were only just starting to be developed.

The 1960s: cancer treatments took off and combinations of chemotherapy drugs were introduced to treat childhood leukaemia.

The 1970s: scientists began to understand more about leukaemia in children and clinical trials introduced new protocols leading to a gradual increase in survival.

The 1980s: scientists developed new ways of managing side effects and improving quality of life.

The 1990s: researchers focused ​on finding the cause and guiding treatments.

The 2000s: Our researchers made a major breakthrough and confirmed the existence of cancer stem cells in the most common form of childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia - our scientists continued to refine treatments.