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Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Treatment (PDQ®)

  • Last Modified: 07/25/2014

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Treatment Options for LCH in Children

Treatment of Low-Risk Disease in Children
        Skin Lesions
        Lesions in Bones or Other Low-Risk Organs
Treatment of High-Risk Disease in Children
Treatment Options for Recurrent, Refractory, and Progressive Childhood LCH in Children



Treatment of Low-Risk Disease in Children

Skin Lesions

Treatment of childhood Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) skin lesions may include the following:

When severe rashes, pain, ulceration, or bleeding occur, treatment may include the following:

Lesions in Bones or Other Low-Risk Organs

Treatment of childhood LCH bone lesions in the front, sides, or back of the skull, or in any other single bone may include the following:

Treatment of childhood LCH lesions in bones around the ears or eyes is done to lower the risk of diabetes insipidus and other long-term problems. Treatment may include:

Treatment of childhood LCH lesions of the spine or thigh bone lesions may include:

  • Observation.
  • Low-dose radiation therapy.
  • Chemotherapy, for lesions that spread from the spine into nearby tissue.
  • Surgery to strengthen the weakened bone by bracing or fusing the bones together.

Treatment of two or more bone lesions may include:

  • Chemotherapy and steroid therapy.

Treatment of two or more bone lesions combined with childhood LCH skin lesions, lymph node lesions, or diabetes insipidus may include:

Treatment of High-Risk Disease in Children

Treatment of childhood LCH multisystem disease lesions in the spleen, liver, or bone marrow (with or without skin, bone, lymph node, lung, or pituitary gland lesions) may include:

Treatment of childhood LCH central nervous system (CNS) lesions may include:

  • Chemotherapy with or without steroid therapy.
  • Steroid therapy.

Treatment of LCH CNS neurodegenerative syndrome may include:

Treatment Options for Recurrent, Refractory, and Progressive Childhood LCH in Children

Recurrent LCH is cancer that cannot be detected for some time after treatment and then comes back. Treatment of recurrent childhood LCH in the skin, bone, lymph nodes, gastrointestinal tract, pituitary gland, or central nervous system (low-risk organs) may include:

Refractory LCH is cancer that does not get better with treatment. Treatment of refractory childhood LCH in high-risk organs and in multisystem low-risk organs may include high-dose chemotherapy. Treatment of childhood LCH in multisystem high-risk organs that did not respond to chemotherapy may include stem cell transplant.

Progressive LCH is cancer that continues to grow during treatment. Treatment of progressive childhood LCH in patients with multisystem disease may include anticancer drugs that have not been given to the patient before.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with childhood Langerhans cell histiocytosis. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your child's doctor about clinical trials that may be right for your child. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.