Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Immunophenotyping is a test in which the cells in a blood sample or a bone marrow sample are looked at under a microscope to find out if malignant (cancerous) lymphocytes began from the B lymphocytes or the T lymphocytes.

Stages of Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Once adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia has been diagnosed, 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 as stages. It is important to know whether the leukemia has spread outside the blood and bone marrow in order to plan adult ALL treatment.
There is no standard staging system for adult ALL. The disease is classified as untreated, in remission, or recurrent.
(Click Stages of Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia for more information.)

Treating Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Different types of treatment are available for adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials.
Current options include:
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy with stem cell transplant.
There are two phases of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment. These phases include remission induction therapy and maintenance therapy. Choosing the most appropriate option is a decision that ideally involves the patient, the family, and the healthcare team.

What Is the Prognosis?

The prognosis (chance of recovery) for adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia will depend on:
  • The age of the person
  • Whether the cancer has spread to the brain or spinal cord
  • Whether the Philadelphia chromosome is present
  • Whether the cancer has been treated before or has recurred (come back).
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Adult ALL

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