Histiocytosis Program

Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center provides expert treatment for newly diagnosed or recurrent histiocytosis, which is a cancer-like condition and may involve treatment with chemotherapy. Our doctors provide unparalleled expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of the major types of histiocytosis — Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) — and treat rare, related disorders such as juvenile xanthogranuloma and Rosai Dorfman disease, as well.

Our team uses a variety of laboratory and diagnostic imaging studies to determine if a child has LCH, HLH, or another form of the disease. This may include blood tests, urinalysis, a bone marrow biopsy, liver or pulmonary function tests, or imaging studies like X-rays or CT, MRI, or PET scans.

Our approach to histiocytosis

We treat our patients in accordance with protocols established by the International Histiocyte Society. Treatment depends on the individual patient and is planned after doctors determine the type and extent of the disease. In some cases, minimal treatment with steroids may be sufficient. Systemic chemotherapy may be needed in patients with more extensive disease. If a child has HLH and needs a stem cell transplant (also called a bone marrow transplant), Dana-Farber/Boston Children's is one of the oldest, largest, and most experienced pediatric stem cell transplant centers in the country.

Learn more about the Histiocytosis Program on the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute website.