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Curr Opin Oncol. 2013 Dec;25 Suppl 3:S1-13; quiz S14-6. doi: 10.1097/CCO.0000000000000017.

Recent advances in acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children and adolescents: an expert panel discussion.

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  • 1aGolisano Children's Hospital, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York bDepartment of Hematology/Oncology, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA cUniversity of Toronto dDivision of Hematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common form of childhood leukemia, representing 75% to 80% of cases of acute leukemia among children. Dramatic improvements in the cure rates and survival outcomes for children with ALL have been seen over the past several decades; currently the 5-year survival rate for childhood ALL is more than 80%. These improvements have come about because of advances in the understanding of the molecular genetics and pathogenesis of the disease, incorporation of risk-adapted therapy, and the advent of new targeted agents.


Scientific advances have provided new insights into leukemogenesis, drug resistance, and host pharmacogenomics, identified novel subtypes of leukemia, and suggested potential targets for therapy. At the same time novel monoclonal antibodies, small molecule inhibitors, chemotherapeutics, and cell-based treatment strategies have been developed and investigated.


In this article, experts will discuss some of the current challenges and future directions in the treatment of pediatric ALL. The authors will offer expert guidance to practicing oncologists on how to best incorporate newer treatment approaches into the care of children and adolescents with ALL. The most important ongoing clinical trials in the area will also be reviewed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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