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Treatment Outcomes

Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) can be a difficult disease to treat. Generally, the outlook for JMML patients isn't as good as it is for children with other childhood blood cancers like acute leukemias, chronic myeloid leukemia and lymphoma.

Unfortunately, long-lasting remissions aren't common. You should discuss survival information with your child's doctor.

The reported median survival of children diagnosed with JMML is less than two years. Keep in mind that outcome data can show how other children with JMML responded to treatment but can't predict how any one child will respond. Also, statistics may underestimate survival to a small degree since they may not reflect the most recent advances in treatment.

Many factors influence patient survival. Factors that may indicate a less favorable result include:

  • younger than 2 years old
  • a low platelet count in the blood
  • elevated levels of hemoglobin F in the blood

A few children younger than 1 year old with Noonan syndrome and a PTPN11 gene mutation have experienced a spontaneous improvement of their JMML. The same improvement has occurred in some children with RAS gene mutations, as well.

The reclassification of JMML by the World Health Organization in 2001 is expected to lead to a greater understanding of the disease and to the development of more effective treatments.

last updated on Friday, March 11, 2011
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