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Br J Haematol. 2011 Nov;155(4):420-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2011.08846.x. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children with Down syndrome: an updated review.

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Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


Down syndrome (DS) is the most common chromosomal abnormality in children and also carries a marked increased incidence of acute leukaemia. Current therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in children with DS offers similar treatment outcome as compared to children without DS. However, in general, there is increased morbidity associated with chemotherapy in children with DS. In recent years, a better understanding of the biology of ALL has led to the elucidation of differences in DS ALL vs non-DS ALL. Further research in these differences may provide a more targeted therapy for DS ALL, with the hopes of continuing good therapeutic outcome while decreasing the toxicities seen in these patients. This review provides an update on the current treatment outcomes and the biological differences seen in DS ALL.

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