CNS Leukemia

  • Yi An
  • Kenneth B. RobertsEmail author


Pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer of children and now has a particularly high cure rate as there have been improvements in risk stratification, matching the intensity of therapy to prognostic factors. These factors include risk for central nervous system (CNS) involvement, immunophenotype, molecular factors, and response to induction systemic therapy. Radiotherapy (RT) to treat the CNS due to relatively poorer penetration of chemotherapy through the physiologic blood–brain barrier had an important historical role in the development of ALL therapy. But use of RT in this role has been curtailed to high-risk patients in order to limit late occurring toxicities. The other uses of RT for AML include CNS relapse, palliative therapy, and total body irradiation as part of an allogeneic stem cell transplant. Radiotherapy is used in as similar albeit even less frequently for acute myeloid leukemias (AML) and related CNS lymphomas.


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia Prophylactic cranial irradiation 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Therapeutic RadiologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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