Oncology & Cancer

Major breakthrough in the treatment of leukemia

A molecular process involved in the action of anti-leukemia drugs has been discovered at Université de Montréal's Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC). While calling into question a central tenet of oncology, ...

Medical research

Your biopsy tissue could be helping important cancer research

If you've ever had a tumor removed or biopsy taken, you may have contributed to life-saving research. Though you probably won't have been told exactly what research your cells would be used for, tissue samples like these ...

Oncology & Cancer

Herpes virus linked to most common type of childhood cancer

Newborns with congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV)—a common virus in the herpes family—may have an increased risk of developing acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), according to new research published online today in Blood, ...

Oncology & Cancer

New treatment approach for leukemia

The BCR/ABL gene, which does not occur among healthy people, has been shown to be a causative agent in the pathogenesis of B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia. The gene causes white blood cells to become leukemia cells that ...

Oncology & Cancer

Understanding the emergence of leukemia

Acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia is a rare type of blood cancer that affects mostly children. This blood cancer appears from the precursor cells that produce T lymphocytes (a type of white blood cells). A new study from ...

Oncology & Cancer

Researchers find drug that inhibits acute leukemia cell growth

Researchers from the Children's Cancer Hospital at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have discovered how to turn off a certain receptor that promotes the growth of leukemia cells. The pre-clinical study ...

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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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