Relationships of Cell Biology to Therapy in Childhood Leukemia

  • A. Thomas Look
  • Dorothy L. Williams
  • Joseph V. Simone


As effective therapy for childhood acute leukemia developed, distinct prognostic subgroups of patients became apparent. Initially, two broad categories of prognostic features were recognized--morphologic and clinical. The separation of myeloid and lymphoid cell types by relatively crude methods of analysis was followed by more detailed classification with use of a variety of cytochemical stains. Clinical features were essentially those reflecting the volume and extent of leukemia, that is, the initial leukocyte count as well as the age and race of the patients (1). A long list of other features has been proposed to have prognostic significance, including serologic, biochemical, anthropomorphic, nutritional and psychosocial factors. However, the first prognostic feature with the potential for systematic biologic exploration was the discovery of T-cell features on the surface of leukemic cells of patients who responded poorly to therapy (2). This stimulated a surge of important clinical and basic research to categorize acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) by the features of cells held in common with differentiation markers of normal lymphoid cells.


Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Acute Leukemia Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Chromosomal Translocation Blast Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Thomas Look
    • 1
  • Dorothy L. Williams
    • 1
  • Joseph V. Simone
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Jude Children’s Research HospitalMemphisUSA

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