Leukemia Treatments

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At UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, patients with leukemia have access to every effective treatment option, delivered by the most experienced specialists in the region. 

Treatment for leukemia often includes a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and sometimes stem cell/bone marrow transplantation. Our leukemia program is unparalleled in the region, offering particular expertise in: 

  • Chemotherapy, which delivers drugs through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy generally involves several rounds of treatments, spread out over months.
  • Radiation therapy, which is sometimes given to patients with leukemia as part of a multidisciplinary treatment regimen. It can destroy leukemia cells, relieve pain, or help prepare a patient for a transplant.
  • Immunotherapy, which involves manipulating a patient’s or donor’s immune system so it attacks cancer cells. UT Southwestern offers Kymriah CAR T-cell therapy for the treatment of leukemia. CAR T is immunotherapy in which a patient’s T-cells, a type of white blood cell, are genetically modified to include a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that is designed to bind to specific proteins on cancer cells. This reprograms the T-cells to recognize and attack the patient’s specific cancer.
  • Bone marrow transplantation is a process that destroys harmful cells and replaces them with healthy cells from a donor. UT Southwestern has the top survival rate for bone marrow transplants in Texas.
  • Molecular targeted therapies, which include first identifying the cell mutations causing the disease and then administering drugs to attack those particular cell mutations. 

Our team of leukemia experts works with each patient to form a personalized treatment plan. Because some types of leukemia can progress quickly due to genetic defects in cancer cells, we test for these defects in every patient before deciding on a course of treatment.  

In addition to administering standard leukemia treatment, our team leads many groundbreaking clinical trials that provide access to treatments available only at top cancer centers. Patients should speak with their doctor if they are interested in one of our trials. 

After Treatment for Leukemia

There is life after leukemia. Our comprehensive support services help patients through the treatment journey and beyond.