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Enrollment and Initial Therapy
At the initial visit, or on completion of diagnostic studies, a member of the St. Jude medical staff will describe the treatment in detail, answer any questions, and obtain informed consent according to federal guidelines. Families will be provided with information on travel, lodging, and what to expect from the treatment experience before or upon their arrival. Although most treatment is done on an outpatient basis, patients typically must remain in Memphis for their initial therapy, and some may require hospitalization. Some treatment may be given at a St. Jude affiliate medical center. Local facilities and community physicians will participate in or administer treatment when possible.
Monitoring and Follow-Up
Referring physicians will receive regular updates on the child's progress and are welcome to call at any point with questions regarding the child's therapy or side effects. After successful treatment, all patients are examined one or more times yearly for five to 10 years in the St. Jude LIFE & After Completion of Therapy Clinic Presented by Kmart (ACT Clinic). Survivors are screened for any residual disease effects or treatment sequelae, including physical, psychological, and social problems. The ACT Clinic emphasizes education of survivors about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and remaining alert for possible late effects. Also, the growing population of childhood cancer survivors enables the clinic to gather unique epidemiologic and treatment follow-up data. These findings are valuable in improving therapeutic protocols at St. Jude and in advancing pediatric cancer care in the larger community.
Referrals, Consultations, and Treatment Policy
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital welcomes referrals of children and adolescents with newly diagnosed or suspected leukemia. Patients are treated on clinical trials designed to provide the best available care while answering important research questions. We can accept only patients who are eligible for ongoing St. Jude clinical trials. Patients who have received treatment elsewhere will be considered on an individual basis, if they are eligible for a St. Jude clinical trial.