What type of physician most commonly treats an individual with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH)?
Most often an oncologist/hematologist takes the main role in treating patients with LCH. However, since LCH can affect so many areas of the body, sometimes a team approach may be appropriate, and the oncologist may enlist the help of various types of specialists, including radiologists, surgeons, pulmonologists, dermatologists, dentists, and others.
Last updated: 5/19/2016
How might Langerhans cell histiocytosis be treated?
Treatment for Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) depends upon the individual patient; it may differ depending on the type and severity of the condition as well as what part(s) of the body are affected. In some cases, the disease will go away without any treatment at all. In other cases, depending on the extent of the disease, limited surgery and small doses of radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be needed. Treatment is planned after complete evaluation of the patient, with the goal of using as little treatment as possible to keep the disease under control.
No consensus exists for the best therapy for LCH, especially when multiple organs are involved. However, the Histiocyte Society has done many clinical trials to evaluate the effect of several treatments, which have resulted in recommendations by the Histiocyte Society.
Generally, the choice of treatment is based on disease severity. The International LCH Study of the Histiocyte Society proposes classifying LCH cases by the number of systems involved and by the number of sites within that system (e.g., involving one or more bones, involving one or multiple lymph nodes). Although most of the trials are in children, the recommendations can also be used for adults.