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Semin Oncol. 2009 Jun;36(3):213-26. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2009.03.007.

Acute leukemia in adolescents and young adults.

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The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.


In many areas of medicine adolescents are regarded as a discrete group with specific therapeutic, psychological, educational, and resource needs. In the treatment of acute leukemia age is a predictor of response. Thus, in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) there is a clearly poorer treatment outcome after puberty, while in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), which is more common in older adults, age is a continuous variable with poorer outcomes in each successive decade. Much is known about other prognostic factors and their relative incidence in each age stratum. Although there is some segregation of favorable factors with relative youth, age usually remains an independent factor with respect to prognosis. Adolescents may be included in pediatric or adult-oriented treatment protocols. Here we discuss the outcome of acute leukemia in adolescents and young adults, particularly with respect to whether they respond similarly to children or other adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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