The Therapy of Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

  • Robert J. EsterhayJr.
  • Peter H. Wiernik
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 5)


Although acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is predominantly a childhood disease, adult ALL accounts for approximately 15% of all cases of adult acute leukemia [1]. In children, major progress has been achieved in the past 5–10 years in the treatment of this disease with an increase in frequency of remission, reduction in the incidence of central nervous system (CNS) leukemia, and an increase in survival. At the present time, 50–60% of patients with childhood ALL can be expected to experience long-term disease-free survival [2]. In contrast, improvement in the management of adult ALL has not advanced as rapidly. Currently, it is the rare patient with adult ALL that survives disease-free for longer than five years, and the best reported median duration of continuous complete remission is only 25 months [3]. However, progress has been achieved in the therapy of adult ALL. The purpose of this paper is to review that progress with respect to remission induction, prophylactic CNS, remission continuation, and relapse reinduction therapy and to propose new ideas and areas for future clinical therapeutic research in this disease. The topic of bone marrow transplantation for adult ALL will not be discussed in any detail here since it is reviewed elsewhere in this volume by Kay.


Oncol Dexamethasone Doxorubicin Cyclophosphamide Meningitis 


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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers bv, The Hague 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. EsterhayJr.
  • Peter H. Wiernik

There are no affiliations available

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