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Treatment for Langerhans cell histiocytosis depends on how many parts of the body are affected and which parts. Here are the main treatments that doctors use. All of these are offered through Seattle Children's Hospital.

Treatment Options for Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis

Surgery

Doctors may operate to remove the excess Langerhans cells (used mostly for bones).

Steroids

Steroid medication may be injected into the places with excess Langerhans cells.

Anti-cancer medicines

Chemotherapy medicines used to kill cancer cells may also help control Langerhans cells. Doctors give some types of these medicines through a vein (intravenously, or by IV). For skin problems, they may apply medicines right on the skin. The doses are lower than used for cancer.

Our patients receive chemotherapy at our hospital main campus in Seattle - most often during a stay in the hospital (as inpatients) but sometimes in a clinic (as outpatients).

Radiation

This treatment can help control cells that are damaging bone and making it weak. The doses are lower than for cancer. Our patients receive radiation therapy through our partner UW Medicine.

Learn more about Radiation Therapy Service.

New Treatments for Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis

Children's Hospital is working with the Histiocyte Society to develop better treatments for Langerhans. We take part in an international treatment study. If your child has a more serious form of Langerhans cell histiocytosis, your doctor may discuss being part of this study.

Your child's doctor will talk with you in detail about any new treatment that might be a match for your child. Then you can decide whether you want to try that option.

Read more about clinical trials.

Read more about research at Children's.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

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Download Spring 2014 (PDF)