Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
A cytogenetic analysis is a test in which the cells in a sample of blood or bone marrow are looked at under a microscope to find out if there are certain changes in the chromosomes in the lymphocytes. For example, doctors will find that part of one chromosome has moved to another chromosome. This is called the Philadelphia chromosome.
Immunophenotyping is a test in which the cells in a sample of blood or bone marrow are looked at under a microscope to find out if malignant (cancerous) lymphocytes began from the B lymphocytes or the T lymphocytes.
Once a person has been diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, tests are done to find out if the cancer has spread to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or to other parts of the body. The extent or spread of cancer is usually described in stages. It is important to know whether the leukemia has spread outside the blood and bone marrow in order to plan the appropriate ALL treatment.
There is no standard staging system for adult or childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia. For adults, acute lymphocytic leukemia is classified as untreated, in remission, or recurrent.
(Click Stages of Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia for more information.)
For childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia, risk groups are used instead of stages. Risk groups for childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia include:
- Standard (low) risk
- High risk
(Click Risk Groups of Childhood ALL for more information.)