Age Related Changes in Adults with Acute Leukemia

  • Charles A. Schiffer
  • O. Ross McIntyre
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 330)


There are well known differences between children and adults in both the incidence of different types of acute leukemia and the response to treatment. Whereas acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) constitutes 85–90% of cases of acute leukemia in children, the converse is true in adults, approximately 85% of whom have acute myeloid leukemia. There are no proven explanations for this discrepancy in incidence, although it has been postulated that the antigenic stimulation of new clones of lymphocytes during the maturation of the immune system in infants and children may be associated with an increased mutation rate and hence leukemias occurring in cells of lymphoid lineage (1). There are also major differences in responsiveness to therapy, particularly in ALL where there is a progressive age related decline in both initial complete response rate as well as long term disease free survival; adolescents fare more poorly than younger children with subsequent decreases in survival with advancing patient age in adults (Figure l)(2–8).


Acute Myeloid Leukemia Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Acute Leukemia Philadelphia Chromosome Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles A. Schiffer
    • 1
  • O. Ross McIntyre
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Hematologic MalignanciesUniversity of Maryland Cancer Center, School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Norris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth Medical SchoolHanoverUSA
  3. 3.Cancer and Leukemia GroupLebanonUSA

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