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Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2010;2010:21-9. doi: 10.1182/asheducation-2010.1.21.

Adolescents and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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University of Chicago, Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


During the last decade, increasing attention has been paid to a unique group of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who lie at the crossroad of therapeutic care by pediatric and adult hematologists/oncologists. ALL is a disease that affects infants, children, adolescents, and adult patients. With current therapies, the vast majority of children with ALL are now long-term survivors; unfortunately, the same good results have not yet been obtained for adults with ALL. This review will describe current controversies surrounding the treatment of adolescents and young adults with ALL--a group who finds themselves in the transition from "pediatric" to "adult" treatment approaches. The review focuses on recent insights into disease biology, prognostic factors, and treatment outcomes that have led to a series of prospective clinical trials specifically designed for adolescents and younger adults (AYAs) with ALL. These trials have been designed to provide important new clinical, psychosocial, and biological insights, and to further improve the survival of this challenging and unique group of patients.

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