Leukemia is a cancer in which the bone marrow goes into hyperdrive, overpopulating the blood with immature white blood cells.

The bone marrow transplant treatment is the first example of stem-cell-based therapy: hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells from a donor are used to replace a patient’s diseased marrow. At Children’s Hospital Boston, we use hematopoietic stem cell transplants to treat leukemia, in close collaboration with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Scott Armstrong, MD, PhD, an affiliate member of the Stem Cell Program at Children’s, works with leukemia stem cells in order to understand what makes them different from healthy hematopoietic stem cells. READ MORE.

Leonard Zon, MD, discovered a new use for the drug PGE2, which may boost production of blood stem cells in patients undergoing treatment for leukemia or lymphoma. This new use of PGE2 started Phase I clinical trials in May 2009.



  • Learn more about bone marrow stem cell transplants

    To learn about bone marrow stem cell transplantation at Children’s Hospital Boston, please visit our Stem Cell Transplantation Program.

  • A new use for the drug PGE2

    PGE2, a drug currently in Phase I clinical trials to treat leukemia and lymphoma, first showed promise in experiments using zebrafish. Click here to read about how Leonard Zon made this discovery about the use of the drug.

  • Cancer stem cells

    Cancer stem cells are stem cells gone off course, allowing cancer to grow and perpetuate itself, often in spite of treatment. To read about cancer stem cells, check out this feature article.

  • Leukemia and Down syndrome

    Children with Down syndrome tend to develop a unique form of leukemia that is only seen in Down syndrome patients. To learn more about Children’s Hospital Boston research in this area, visit Down syndrome and stem cells.