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Quality of Life Study

Research in Animal Models

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We have discovered lots of new information from our studies in children, but we are not there yet.  Cancer treatment for leukemia includes all types of different drugs or agents.  You can think of it as a cocktail of agents.

Some of these agents may be more harmful to the brain than other agents.  We cannot test the effects of these different agents in children, because this would be very dangerous for the child’s health.  That is why we use animal models instead.  

We are treating animal models with each chemotherapy agent one-at-a-time. We then check for differences in brain growth in the animal models. By comparing the changes seen with all the agents, we hope to identify those that are most harmful to brain development. We will compare the brain growth changes in animal models to the changes we see in patients to see if they are similar.  

Our work in animal models will help us understand which of the agents used for treatment of leukemia should perhaps be changed for better long-term outcomes in leukemia patients.