Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis in Children

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Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare disorder that occurs when your child has too many of a certain type of white blood cell.

  • The white blood cell affected is called a Langerhans cell (it was named for a German scientist).
  • These cells normally reside in the skin and help fight infections and destroy certain foreign substances in the body.
  • In LCH, these cells accumulate on bones and other parts of the body, particularly the head and neck, causing a wide range of problems.
  • LCH can also be found in the ribs, sternum, long bones of the arms and legs, vertebra of the spine and the pelvis.
  • Although LCH can occur in people of all ages, a majority of cases occur in children who are under 10 years old.

Individualized care, new treatments

Through Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, a 50-year partnership between Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital, patients with LCH receive individualized care to treat every aspect of this condition from an expert team of specialists. Patients also benefit from a team of researchers striving to understand the scientific causes of Langerhans cell histiocytosis, which results in continual introduction of new treatment options.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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