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Curr Opin Oncol. 2006 Nov;18(6):652-9.

The changing scene of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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Division of Hematology, Department of Cellular Biotechnologies and Hematology, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.



The review focuses on the most recent advances in the diagnostic and prognostic work-up of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and its implications in the clinical management of the disease.


ALL can be identified on the basis of morphologic, cytochemical and immunophenotypic criteria; modern management of ALL is also based on cytogenetic and genetic evaluations. New technologies, such as gene expression profile analysis, may allow us to further unravel the intrinsic biology of the disease, to improve diagnostic and prognostic stratification, and to design innovative therapeutic strategies. In potentially all cases, specific markers of the disease can be found and utilized together with the rearrangement of immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor genes to monitor minimal residual disease during clinical follow-up. These biologically-defined subgroups of patients may have a different clinical course, response to treatment and variable prognosis.


Recent biologic advancements are progressively realising the possibility of designing targeted and individualized therapeutic strategies according to the more refined, molecularly defined features of leukemic cells and the presence or absence of residual disease in adult ALL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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