Genetics

Exploring the risk of ALL in children with Down syndrome

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), is the most common childhood cancer. Children with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) are 10 to 20 times more likely to develop ALL than children without Down syndrome. Historically, children with ...

Oncology & Cancer

Toward a safer treatment for leukemia

An international team of researchers at VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium, the U.K. Dementia Institute and the Children's Cancer Institute, Australia, have found a safer treatment for a specific type of leukemia. By refining a therapeutic ...

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Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

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 (metastasizing) to other organs. ALL is most common in childhood with a peak incidence at 4–12 years of age, and another peak in old age. The overall cure rate in children is 85%, and about 50% of adults have long-term disease-free survival. 'Acute' refers to the undifferentiated, immature state of the circulating lymphocytes ("blasts"), and to the rapid progression of disease, which can be fatal in weeks to months if left untreated.

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