There are a number of different types of leukaemia that affect people during childhood and early adulthood. ‘Childhood’ leukaemia is the term commonly used to describe leukaemias that are most common in younger children. However, these types of leukaemia are also diagnosed in teenagers and young adults. Although we know that teenagers and young adults have needs that are different from those of young children, the medical treatment they receive is often the same, and it is important that they are included in research to improve care for these conditions.
In the UK we normally expect to see just over 400 cases of leukaemia diagnosed each year in children under 14 years old. About 85% of these are acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and most of the rest are acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
Our childhood AML research is looking into why some children with Down’s Syndrome are more prone to developing AML, and what we can do to prevent this from happening. We also have a programme of research focussing on childhood ALL, to find out more click here.