Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Research

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare pediatric disorder that occurs when antigen-presenting Langerhans cells, a subset of the larger family of cells known as histiocytes, become hyperactivated and induce damaging inflammation in various body parts. In LCH, these overactive Langerhans cells recruit diverse inflammatory cells  that participate to form tumors or cause organ damage. Many afflicted children have disease that is not life threatening but can inflame the skin and/or bones, while other children have a more disseminated disease with the potential for severe effects. Treatment of LCH may include immunosuppressive therapy or chemotherapy depending upon the disease severity. Researchers at the Center for Childhood Cancer Research are using molecular biological and immunotherapeutic approaches to better define the relationship between LCH and cancer and to develop new safe and effective treatment options for children with LCH. The efforts of investigators at the CCCR have resulted in:

  • A better understanding of the molecular and immunological basis of LCH
  • Improvements to standard treatment regimens and interventional strategies for children with LCH
  • Identification of possible molecular targets for development of new LCH therapeutics