Oncology & Cancer

Childhood leukemia cannot hide from the immune system

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have evidence that children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia mount a robust immune response to their cancer. The findings, which appear today in the journal Science Translational ...

Genetics

Researchers redefine the footprint of viral vector gene therapy

Building on a track record of developing adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors as a groundbreaking clinical tool for gene therapy and gene editing, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) researchers report a more sensitive ...

Oncology & Cancer

Immune therapy takes a 'BiTE' out of brain cancer

Building on their research showing that an exciting new form of immunotherapy for cancer has activity in patients with glioblastoma, the most common and most deadly form of brain cancer, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) ...

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Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a form of leukemia, or cancer of the white blood cells characterized by excess lymphoblasts.

Malignant, immature white blood cells continuously multiply and are overproduced in the bone marrow. ALL causes damage and death by crowding out normal cells in the bone marrow, and by spreading (infiltrating) to other organs. ALL is most common in childhood with a peak incidence at 2–5 years of age, and another peak in old age. The overall cure rate in children is about 80%, and about 45%-60% of adults have long-term disease-free survival.

Acute refers to the relatively short time course of the disease (being fatal in as little as a few weeks if left untreated) to differentiate it from the very different disease of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, which has a potential time course of many years. It is interchangeably referred to as Lymphocytic or Lymphoblastic. This refers to the cells that are involved, which if they were normal would be referred to as lymphocytes but are seen in this disease in a relatively immature (also termed 'blast') state.

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