|The goal of the final
phase of ALL therapy is to “maintain” the remission- this phase may be
referred to as “Maintenance” or “Continuation”.
|Most of the therapy during
this phase is given orally, at home, on a daily basis.
|The usual medications are
mercaptopurine (6-MP) given by mouth (tablets) every evening, and
methotrexate given by mouth (tablets) once a week in the evening or by
intramuscular injection once a week.
The children then return to the clinic on an intermittent basis
(usually every 3 to 4 weeks) to receive intravenous vincristine. They also usually receive a short
course of oral glucocorticoid (prednisone or dexamethasone) for 5 to 7 days
corresponding with the administration of vincristine.
|This typically continues
until the child is about 2 to 3 year post diagnosis, at which time treatment