The leukemia team at the Gill Center gives patients and their families what they need, when they need it: prompt diagnoses and exceptional care, access to the most advanced treatment protocols and nationally recognized leaders in pediatric leukemia research.
Between 60 and 80 new patients enter the program each year. We treat every type of leukemia seen in children and adolescents, ranging from common to exceptionally rare.
Specific subtypes include:
- T- and B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemias
- Infant leukemia
- Transient myeloproliferative disease
- Acute and chronic myeloid leukemia
- Burkitt’s leukemia
- Rare histologies, including acute blastic plasmacytoid neoplasms
Patients enrolled in our program benefit from a multidisciplinary approach, including weekly leukemia team meetings where specialists and subspecialists review new patients, patients with treatment-related issues, patients following relapse and patients receiving standard therapies. Both patients and families benefit from the involvement of the Gill Center’s nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, child life specialists, play therapists, psychologists, nutritionists, massage and aroma therapists, teachers, music therapists, chaplains, and pain specialists.
- Multidisciplinary approach, including care for the entire family
- Exceptional monitoring and tracking of therapy doses
- Active enrollment of acute leukemia patients in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia (TACL) trials
- See also Stem Cell Transplant Program
Our leaders work in concert with other national pediatric oncology researchers to further develop leukemia therapies. Naomi Winick, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, has served on the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Committee since 2000, and is currently Chair of the Outcomes Committee for ALL. Program Director, Tamra Slone, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, currently serves on the acute lymphoblastic leukemia trial for patients with high-risk disease and is co-chair of a study designed to understand the bone disease that can complicate leukemia therapy. Other staff physicians routinely serve on COG committees that design and administer clinical trials.
The integration of our medical staff into the national research community ensures that we can offer patients the latest treatments and clinical trials. The Gill Center maintains a portfolio of over 200 IRB-approved clinical trials, averaging over 100 therapeutic and 500 nontherapeutic trial enrollments each year.
Beyond COG clinical trials, we conduct our own research. Current projects include:
- Early phase clinical trials employing new therapeutic agents to eradicate leukemia cells
- Laboratory research efforts at UT Southwestern to understand the biology of stem cells from which leukemia begins
- Conducting immunotherapy trials in childhood leukemia, including use of CAR-T cells.