Our team uses a variety of laboratory and diagnostic imaging studies to determine if a child has LCH, HLH, or another form of the disease. This may include blood tests, urinalysis, a bone marrow biopsy, liver or pulmonary function tests, or imaging studies like X-rays or CT, MRI or PET scans.
We treat our patients in accordance with protocols established by the International Histiocyte Society. Treatment depends on the individual patient and is planned after doctors determine the type and extent of the disease. In some cases, minimal treatment with steroids may be sufficient. Systemic chemotherapy may be needed in patients with more extensive disease. If a child has HLH and needs a stem cell transplant (also called a bone marrow transplant), Dana-Farber/Boston Children's is one of the oldest, largest and most experienced pediatric stem cell transplant centers in the country.
Our patients have access to the broadest set of pediatric, hematologic and oncologic expertise available. The breadth of our expertise allows us to assemble a team of experts to meet the specific needs of each patient.
At the core of the treatment team are hematologists and oncologists who specialize in treating children with histiocytosis. Because many organ and body systems may be involved with the disease, a patient’s treatment team may also include dermatologists, pulmonologists, endocrinologists, gastroenterologists, neurologists, dentists, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, radiologists, and radiation oncologists.
We round out the team with experts that help the child prepare for life during and after treatment, including psychiatrists and psychologists, child life specialists, social workers, nutritionists, and school specialists.
All senior medical staff members of the histiocytosis treatment program participate in clinical research activities, so our patients have access to the very best and up-to-date treatments available.