Cancer Center

Relapsed Leukemia and Lymphoma Program

The Cancer Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) offers a unique treatment program for children with relapsed, refractory or resistant to front line therapy leukemia and lymphoma. The program is staffed by a world-class team of pediatric oncologists who specialize in cases of leukemia and lymphoma that return after initial treatment with standard protocols. 

Responding to relapse

When leukemia or lymphoma doesn’t respond to treatment, or relapses after therapy, it may be more difficult to handle than other cancers. It's now time to consider treatments that are designed specifically for children whose cancer has returned. At this point, it is important that your child be evaluated by an oncologist with special expertise in relapsed leukemia and lymphoma.

At the Cancer Center at CHOP, our experts have unparalleled experience treating children who have suffered a relapse. Their experience has prepared them to evaluate your child's case quickly, consider all the available options, and make recommendations about the best path for your family.  

Our practice approach

Request a second opinion

You can contact the Relapsed Leukemia and Lymphoma Program to request a second opinion by calling 267-426-0762 or by filling out this contact form online. You'll receive a response from our team within 24 business hours, where we'll ask for some additional information about your child's case.

Is the Cancer Center at CHOP a fit for your child?

Using the information you provide, our relapse experts will talk with you about whether the Cancer Center at CHOP is a good fit for your child and your family. Whenever possible, we want children to stay close to home for cancer treatment.

If we believe we can offer a treatment option for your child that is not available at a pediatric cancer center closer to your home, we'll recommend that you travel to Philadelphia for an evaluation. We might also recommend that we partner with your physician at home to develop a care plan you can follow without coming to CHOP.

An evaluation at CHOP

When you schedule your appointment for a second opinion, we'll ask that you provide as much information about your child's medical history as you can. Our doctors will want to review all labs, scans and other medical records about your child's case and previous care. We’ll provide specific instructions about what to bring to CHOP once your appointment is scheduled. The team will also want to speak with your child's current oncologist to learn more about the treatment he received before relapse.

Choosing the best option

The team will offer options for your child's treatment based on their evaluation in clinic. Unlike the initial diagnosis of leukemia or lymphoma, there are often several treatment paths to choose from when a child relapses. Our experts will explain each option in detail, and help your family make a decision about the best course for your child.

Meet our team

Physicians who treat relapsed leukemia and lymphoma

Richard Aplenc, MD, PhD, MSCE
L. Charles Bailey, MD, PhD
Leslie Kersun, MD, MSCE
Anne Reilly, MD, MPH
Susan R. Rheingold, MD

Second Opinions


Children with relapsed leukemia and lymphoma can benefit from a second opinion »

Immune Cell Therapy


Clinical trials are available for some cases of relapsed cancer. Immune cell therapy is one option »

Tour Our Center


Learn what it's like to be a patient at the Cancer Center at CHOP in this virtual tour »


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Contact Us

Existing patients or family members, please call


To schedule an initial appointment or request a 2nd opinion


For Referring Physicians

Oncologists at CHOP are available for consultations about the next step in treatment for a child with cancer. Please call us from Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on our PHYSICIAN-ONLY line:


Outside of these hours, please call 215-590-1000 and ask for the oncology fellow on call. You may also contact us online.