ALLAcute Lymphoblastic Leukemia  (ALL) is one of the 4 main types of Leukemia

The other major types of Leukemia are:

1.)  Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)

2.)  Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

3.)  Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)

This disease can progress swiftly [Acute]

It is a cancer of the white blood cells (WBC) and an increase in lymphoblasts are seen.

Within the Bone Marrow a production of WBC is seen that are immature.

The concerning factor is when the other necessary blood cells become out-produced by the immature WBC.

Often affected are cells of the Immune System such as B cells

Seen most often between ages 4-12 then again much later in life.

85% of children respond well to treatment while 50% of adults have good outcomes.

Without treatment – the time period from onset to death may be a few weeks to months.

Cancer may move to different areas of the body [metastasize].

Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Fevers
  • Weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Joint pain
  • Bruising
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling in legs
  • Enlargement of lymph nodes
  • Enlargement of Spleen
  • Enlargement of Liver
  • others

Causes:

  • The cause is not known
  • Genetic [theory]
  • Change or damage to DNA
  • Radiation
  • Nuclear radiation exposure
  • Other chemical exposure

Diagnosis

  • Blood work is essential to diagnosis
  • White blood count will be quite elevated
  • Blast cells are often seen
  • Biopsy of bone marrow is definitive
  • Spinal tap may detect involvement of Brain

 

Treatment

*** The earlier detected is better

Chemotherapy

To Induce Remission [rapidly kill tumor cells]

Steroids
Prednisolone
Dexamethasone (children)

Chemotherapy
Vincristine
Daunorubicin (adults)
Asparaginase

Intensification [causes tumor to decrease in size]

Vincristine
Daunorubicin
Mercaptopurine
Thioguanine
Etoposide
Cytarabine
Cyclophosphamide

Maintenance period

Mercaptopurine
Methotrexate

Steroids as well

Radiation

  • Used for painful areas
  • Used prior to bone marrow transplant

Bone Marrow Transplant

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