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  • New in the Literature: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Jan 16. [Epub ahead of print])

    An in-hospital and home exercise physical therapy program during the first four phases of medical treatments is feasible for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), say authors of a study published online ahead of print January 16 in Pediatric Blood & Cancer.

    Nine patients between the ages of 2-14 years old were enrolled within 2 weeks of diagnosis in the study. Each patient was evaluated at study entry, after each of the first 4 phases of therapy, and each time patients were re-admitted to the hospital. Following the initial physical therapy evaluation, an individualized home exercise program was developed, consisting of stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercises. The following end points were measured at each evaluation -- gross motor assessment as measured by gross motor function measure (GMFM), health-related quality of life as measured by the PedsQL, and parent satisfaction questionnaire.

    This study was feasible with 98% of the evaluation sessions completed. The GMFM and PedsQL improved steadily throughout the study. However, the PedsQL slightly decreased from interim maintenance to delayed intensification. The parents reported being satisfied with the physical therapy program.

    Future randomized studies are needed to confirm whether an initial physical therapy program at diagnosis in children with ALL will limit functional impairments, improve overall fitness, and increase health-related quality of life, the authors report.  


    • My daughter was diagnosed with High risk pre-B ALL on August 27th, 2010 at 20 months old. She stopped walking about three weeks into induction and we did not start PT until November. She still soes not walk and we have leg braces and a walker to assist her. I have seen great progress but i wish we started this much earlier on like mentioned in the article.

      Posted by Charlie Krajewski on 3/30/2011 8:28 AM

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