Leukemia and Lymphoma - Pediatric

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At City of Hope, our Pediatric Cancer Program offers both outstanding medical treatment and psychosocial support to young cancer patients and their family members. 

Pediatric oncologists, hematologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists and other specialists work in concert to develop a targeted, effective treatment plan.

If your child has been diagnosed with pediatric leukemia or lymphoma or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-4673. Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.


City of Hope has been named a best hospital for cancer by U.S. News & World Report for over a decade and a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, the highest designation that recognizes our commitment to cancer treatment, research and education. 

Our program treats patients with a range of leukemias and lymphomas, including:


  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)


  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL)
  • B-cell lymphoma (Burkitt and Burkitt-like lymphoma)
  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBC)
  • Lymphoblastic lymphoma
  • T-cell lymphoma
  • MK-cell lymphoma

What is pediatric leukemia?

Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and the most common cancer in children, accounting for approximately 40 percent of all cancer diagnoses in children.

Healthy cells form in the bone marrow and mature into red blood cells (to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues), white blood cells (to fight infections) and platelets (to stop bleeding).

In patients with leukemia, these cells do not mature as they should or they transform into irregular blood cells that do not function normally. 

What is pediatric lymphoma?

Lymphomas are cancers that develop in the body’s lymphatic system and are the third most common pediatric cancer, after leukemia and brain tumors.

What are the symptoms of pediatric leukemia?

Common symptoms of pediatric leukemia include:
  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Infections and fever
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Extreme fatigue or weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing

What are the symptoms of pediatric lymphoma?

Common symptoms of pediatric lymphoma include:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Feeling full after only a small amount of food
  • Shortness of breath or cough
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue

How we treat pediatric leukemia and lymphoma

At City of Hope, our team of pediatric experts provides comprehensive care for children with leukemia and lymphoma. We treat newly diagnosed patients, patients referred to us from other centers who come to City of Hope to continue their treatment and those who have experienced a relapse. 

Each type of childhood cancer is treated differently, based on what has been found to be most effective in destroying the particular type of cancer cell. 

Drug therapy

The most common type of cancer treatment for leukemia and lymphoma is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is treatment with anti-cancer drugs that are given into a vein, muscle, the cerebrospinal fluid or taken in pill form.

Except in the case of cerebrospinal fluid, chemo drugs enter the bloodstream and reach all areas of the body, making this treatment very helpful in treating cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. 

Immunotherapy, or treatment that uses certain parts of the immune system to fight cancer, may be used as well.

Radiation therapy

In some cases, radiation therapy may be recommended. Radiation therapy uses focused, high-energy X-rays or other forms of radiation to kill cancer cells.

City of Hope is a leader in the use of radiation to treat cancers. Our advanced technologies and experienced staff can plan and deliver radiation precisely to the bone marrow, where leukemia originates, while sparing nearby organs and tissues. This results in fewer radiation-associated side effects while maintaining excellent clinical outcomes.

Bone marrow and stem cell transplantation

For children who fail to respond to treatment or experience a relapse, City of Hope has a renowned program in stem cell transplantation.

Stem cell transplantation allows doctors to deliver greater doses of radiation and drugs to fight leukemia. After the high-intensity treatments, patients are infused with blood stem cells that will grow and mature in the bone marrow, restoring their blood-forming functions.
City of Hope is one of the world’s largest and most successful bone marrow and stem cell transplant centers. Our Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute is a leader in setting standards for this lifesaving procedure, improving outcomes for leukemia patients of all ages.



City of Hope’s renowned physicians and researchers utilize the latest in technology and innovation to treat pediatric leukemia and lymphoma, coupled with our enduring belief in providing unparalleled compassionate care.

Pediatric Hematology - Oncology

Saro H. Armenian, D.O., M.P.H.

Clinical Specialties

  • Pediatric Hematology - Oncology
Nicole A. Karras, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Pediatric Hematology - Oncology
Anna Pawlowska, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Pediatric Hematology - Oncology
Joseph Rosenthal, M.D., M.H.C.M.

Clinical Specialties

  • Pediatric Hematology - Oncology

Pediatric leukemia and lymphoma research and clinical trials

Adolescents and young adults may be eligible for clinical studies and novel treatments available for adult patients at City of Hope, while still benefitting from the patient and family-centered approach of the pediatric program.

Your child may have the opportunity to participate in a research study or clinical trial through our participation in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and our designation as one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S. More information about our pediatric cancer research, including ongoing clinical trials, is available on City of Hope’s Clinical Trials.

Living with pediatric leukemia and lymphoma

When you come to City of Hope, you automatically gain access to an unparalleled array of support services to help you and your loved ones take each step during and after your leukemia treatment.

We can help with all of the following concerns, and more:

Learn more about these resources at our Living with Cancer or Supportive Care Medicine sites.

For more information about the supportive care programs we offer, please contact the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center at 626-218-2273 (CARE).

A unique benefit of being treated at City of Hope is that we treat young children, adolescents and young adults, ensuring a continuum of care through the years for this special group of patients. 

Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program

The majority of children diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma are cured; however, there can be long-term side effects. Our Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program clinic is specially designed to meet the follow-up needs of childhood cancer survivors, who are evaluated annually by a team of health care professionals with expertise in survivorship issues.

The Pediatric Leukemia and Lymphoma psychosocial team, which includes psychologists, social workers and child life specialists, are available to answer your questions and provide support tailored to your unique situation. The team includes:

Jeanelle Folbrecht, Ph.D.

Kayla Fulginiti, M.S.W.

Natalie Kelly, Ph.D.








Ben Teller Success Story Image
Ben, lymphoma survivor

"The moment I entered the doors of City of Hope, I felt like a person again."

Gavin's Wish: Meet My Bone Marrow Donor

A 6-year old boy is given the opportunity to meet the bone marrow donor who saved his life.