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Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2000 Dec;14(6):1209-35.

Pathologic diagnosis of acute lymphocytic leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Hematopathology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.


With present knowledge, the optimal management of individual patients with acute leukemia requires that every case be studied by morphology, cytochemistry, cytogenetic, immunologic and molecular techniques. An algorithm for diagnostic evaluation and classification of ALL is provided in Fig. 11. Other techniques, such as DNA or cDNA [figure: see text] microarray, are at present important research tools but have not yet had a major effect on patient care. More detailed studies of individual patients need to be conducted at specialized cancer centers, where preservation of cells, DNA, RNA, or protein is possible. Such investigations will yield important information on the clinical importance of the expression of various markers, the prevalence and relevance of bilineage and biphenotypic leukemias, and above all will reveal the mechanisms of leukemogenesis and of disease evolution. Such insights will further aid clinicians in treating ALL and in preventing refractory disease.

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