Recent advances in the biology and management of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in adults

  • Owen A. O’Connor
  • Mark Weiss
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 99)


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a malignant disease resulting from the unregulated clonal proliferation and arrested maturation of lymphoblasts. The phenotypic heterogeneity of the lymphoid neoplasia is a function of the complicated ontogeny these cells undergo in differentiation, as well as their multiplicity of activities in vivo. Evolving techniques in immunophenotyping and molecular genetics have refined our knowledge and classification of the lymphoproliferative diseases. These techniques allow lymphoid malignancies to be classified according to their specific lineage (B-or T-cell), their stage of differentiation (early pre-B, pre-B, or B-cell), and their genotype (specific translocations, oncogenes, etc.). Classifications of leukemia that rely exclusively upon morphology and histochemistry, such as the French-American-British (FAB) system, are limited by their inability to accurately stage the degree of differentiation or to identify molecular subsets of disease. These limitations do not allow adequate prognostication or risk stratification prior to the commencement of therapy. Knowledge of the lymphoblast molecular characteristics is becoming increasing important in defining new clinicopathologic correlations prior to commencing definitive therapy. Such is already the case with mature B-cell ALL (t(8;14)) and Philadelphia chromosome (t(9;22))-positive ALL.


Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Acute Leukemia Allogeneic Transplant Philadelphia Chromosome Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Owen A. O’Connor
  • Mark Weiss

There are no affiliations available

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