Nearly two children out of every 10,000 will be diagnosed with cancer. In this edition of Child Wellness Wednesday, YNN's Marcie Fraser tells us about the promising future for leukeumia research.
"After 30 or 40 years of research we are becoming quite skilled at curing childhood leukemia. Once we identify the subtype of leukemia that they have, a good majority of those children will survive their therapy and go on to grow up and be healthy," explained Dr. Joanne Porter, pediatric oncologist.
Thanks to more effective treatment, children are given better chances of surviving their illness.
Dr. Porter said, "All cancers are not the same, not all forms of Leukemia is treated the same. The oncologists have to understand the subtype of cancer that it is that then dictates what's the right curative medication, what's schedule is the right schedule."
How those schedules are determined and what treatment is best for which cancer, is done with collaborative national efforts.
"Doctors that treat childhood cancer are able to collaborate within the network to help us pool information on how a child does," said Dr. Porter. "I can go into the network and compare how my kids are doing with the other 2,500 that are on the same protocol that my youngster is on."
Although there is not much research or data developed for rare forms of cancer, the network is especially beneficial.
"When we get the one kid that you see once in 25 years, I can go into the network and query to find out who else is putting information together," said Dr. Porter.
When it comes to the causes of childhood cancer, not much is known, but Dr. Porter believes the network will help discover how the illness can be prevented.
She added, "And they are starting to look at how we can understand the biology of each tumor which will lead us to the next step of how we prevent it."
For more information, head to www.childrensoncologygroup.org.