Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

What is ALL?


  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The disease progresses rapidly and creates immature blood cells, rather than mature ones. ALL affects the white blood cells known as lymphocytes. It is the most common type of cancer in children and treatments result in good chance of cure. If occurred in adulthood, the chance of cure is significantly less.



Who is impacted?


  • Most cases of acute lymphocytic leukemia are not inherited. However, these risk factors may increase your risk of developing the cancer:
    • Previous cancer treatment
    • Exposure to radiation
    • Genetic disorders
    • Having a sibling with ALL



How is ALL diagnosed?


  • ALL is typically diagnosed through one or more of the following:
    • Blood tests
    • Bone marrow test
    • Imaging tests
    • Spinal fluid test



How is ALL treated?


  • The different phases of ALL treatment are as follows:
    • Induction therapy (first phase, kill most of the leukemia in the cells)
    • Consolidation therapy (post-remission, aimed at destroying any remaining leukemia in the body)
    • Maintenance therapy (third phase, prevents leukemia cells from regrowing)
  • Treatment options are as follows:
    • Chemotherapy
    • Targeted therapy
    • Radiation therapy
    • Bone marrow transplant