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Pediatric Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to treat cancer cells. Chemotherapy has been used for many years and is one of the most common treatments for cancer. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow or reproduce. Different groups of drugs work in different ways to fight cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used alone for some types of cancer or in combination with other treatments, such as radiation or surgery. Often, a combination of chemotherapy drugs is used to fight a specific cancer. Certain chemotherapy drugs may be given in a specific order depending on the type of cancer it's being used to treat.

While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating certain cancers, chemotherapy drugs reach all parts of the body, not just the cancer cells. Because of this, there may be many side effects during treatment. Being able to anticipate these side effects can help you and your child prepare and, in some cases, prevent these symptoms from occurring.

  • How is chemotherapy administered for children?
  • What are some of the chemotherapy drugs and their potential side effects in children?
Applicable Conditions

Applicable Conditions

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Cancer specialists at Children’s National in Washington, D.C., provide expert treatment for children who have acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Learn more about this condition, including its symptoms, what causes and how we treat it.

Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is a rare cancer of the retina (the innermost layer of the eye, located at the back of the eye, that receives light and images necessary for vision).

Leukemia

Leukemia is the most common form of pediatric cancer. Leukemia is cancer of the blood and develops in the bone marrow. Learn more about this condition.

Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancerous tumor that originates in the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, tendons and connective tissues.

Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Soft tissue sarcoma is a type of cancer that grows in soft tissues that support and connect parts of the body.

Neuroblastoma

Pediatric neuroblastoma is a cancerous tumor that begins in nerve tissue of infants and very young children.

Brain Tumors

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain or spinal cord. Learn more about this condition.

Germ Cell Tumors

Germ cell tumors are tumors that are comprised mostly of germ cells. Germ cells are the cells that develop and become the cells that make up the reproductive system. Learn more about this condition.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is cancer in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system and functions to fight disease and infections. Learn more about its causes and treatments.

Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the nasal cavity and the pharynx, the upper part of the throat behind the nose. Learn more about its causes and treatments.

Children's Team

Children's Team

Providers

Jeffrey Dome

Jeffrey Dome

Vice President, Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Division Chief, Oncology
Associate Director, Center for Cancer and Immunology Research
Dr. Eugene Hwang

Eugene Hwang

Associate Division Chief, Oncology
Neuro-Oncologist
Brian Rood

Brian Rood

Director, Clinical Neuro-Oncology
Medical Director, Brain Tumor Institute
Oncologist
Children's Locations that Perform this Procedure

Children's Locations that Perform this Procedure

Treatment Service Locations

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Our Stories

Our Stories

Chris teaser image

Chris's Story

When Chris's parents noticed he had lingering pain and swollen lymph nodes, they knew it was time to take him to the doctor.

christopher teaser image

Christopher's Story

Christopher Melkonian was six years old when he came down with a low-grade fever and diffuse bone pain. Unsure of what was happening, his parents Darlene and David took him to Children’s National Health System and soon found out that Christopher had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that affects white blood cells.

Amira rides a horse

Amira's Story

Despite the past decade spent in and out of the hospital, Amira has her sights set on a bright future and doesn’t allow her diagnosis to define who she is.

Departments

Departments

Leukemia Lymphoma Program

We deliver comprehensive care for all blood cancers including chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant and experimental therapeutics.

Bone Health Program

Orthopaedists at Children’s National offer world-renowned expertise and life-changing care, including surgery, for children at high risk for bone fracture.

Oncology

Our oncology (cancer) team provides personalized treatment plans for children with cancer, including access to clinical trials.

Solid Tumor Program

Our Solid Tumor Program has a dedicated team of sarcoma experts who specialize in the newest treatments and clinical trials.

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Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you.

Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you. Make it happen