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Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

An aggressive (fast-growing) type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too many lymphoblasts (immature white blood cells) are found in the blood and bone marrow.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).

Adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL; also called acute lymphocytic leukemia) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. This type of cancer usually gets worse quickly if it is not treated....Read more about Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).

Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (also called ALL or acute lymphocytic leukemia) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. This type of cancer usually gets worse quickly if it is not treated....Read more about Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Donor versus no donor comparison of hematopoietic cell transplantation for adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia in first complete remission

An area of uncertainty in the care of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the choice of treatment that is given after a complete remission is achieved with induction chemotherapy. Therapeutic alternatives include consolidation chemotherapy, autologous transplant (transplantation of a patient's own stem cells) or allogeneic transplant (transplantation utilizing donor stem cells). Clinical trials have come to different conclusions about the best approach. We conducted a systematic review and meta‐analysis to synthesize available clinical research studies that have examined outcome according to donor vs. no donor status, or genetic randomization. This is a method of analysis for assessing the effect of transplantation in this disease condition. Our analysis supports matched sibling donor allogeneic hematopoeitic cell transplantation as the approach which offers the best long‐term outcomes, specifically providing optimal survival and reduced risk for ALL relapse.

Prophylactic administration of colony‐stimulating factors reduces hospital stay and risk of infections in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

The authors evaluated the efficacy of adding colony‐stimulating factors (CSF) after chemotherapy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) to prevent febrile neutropenia, which is a potentially life‐threatening side effect of treatment.

Suppression of the stress system in children who received synthetic stress hormones for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

We reviewed the evidence for suppression of the stress system/hypothalamic‐pituitary‐adrenal (HPA) axis (how often does it happen? how long does the suppression persist?) after treatment with synthetic stress hormones/glucocorticoids in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

See all (64)

Summaries for consumers

Donor versus no donor comparison of hematopoietic cell transplantation for adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia in first complete remission

An area of uncertainty in the care of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the choice of treatment that is given after a complete remission is achieved with induction chemotherapy. Therapeutic alternatives include consolidation chemotherapy, autologous transplant (transplantation of a patient's own stem cells) or allogeneic transplant (transplantation utilizing donor stem cells). Clinical trials have come to different conclusions about the best approach. We conducted a systematic review and meta‐analysis to synthesize available clinical research studies that have examined outcome according to donor vs. no donor status, or genetic randomization. This is a method of analysis for assessing the effect of transplantation in this disease condition. Our analysis supports matched sibling donor allogeneic hematopoeitic cell transplantation as the approach which offers the best long‐term outcomes, specifically providing optimal survival and reduced risk for ALL relapse.

Prophylactic administration of colony‐stimulating factors reduces hospital stay and risk of infections in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

The authors evaluated the efficacy of adding colony‐stimulating factors (CSF) after chemotherapy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) to prevent febrile neutropenia, which is a potentially life‐threatening side effect of treatment.

Suppression of the stress system in children who received synthetic stress hormones for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

We reviewed the evidence for suppression of the stress system/hypothalamic‐pituitary‐adrenal (HPA) axis (how often does it happen? how long does the suppression persist?) after treatment with synthetic stress hormones/glucocorticoids in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

See all (23)

Terms to know

Acute
Describes something that happens suddenly and for a short time. Opposite of chronic, or long lasting.
Blood
A tissue with red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and other substances suspended in fluid called plasma. Blood takes oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, and carries away wastes.
Bone Marrow
The soft, sponge-like tissue in the center of most bones. It produces white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
Leukemia
Cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of blood cells to be produced and enter the bloodstream.
Lymphoblasts
A lymphocyte that has gotten larger after being stimulated by an antigen. Lymphoblast also refers to an immature cell that can develop into a mature lymphocyte.

More about Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Photo of an adult

Also called: Acute lymphoid leukaemia, Acute lymphocytic leukaemia, Acute lymphatic leukaemia, Lymphoblastic leukaemia, Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia-lymphoma, Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Acute lymphoid leukemia, Acute lymphocytic leukemia, Acute lymphatic leukemia, Lymphoblastic leukemia, Acute lymphoblastic leukemia-lymphoma

Other terms to know: See all 5
Acute, Blood, Bone Marrow

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