ALL

 

Acute 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]

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) 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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