Modern therapy of acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Renato Bassan, Dieter Hoelzer
Journal of Clinical Oncology 2011 February 10, 29 (5): 532-43
Although acute lymphoblastic leukemia is curable in one third of adult patients, results vary greatly on account of different clinical, immunologic, and cytogenetic/genetic characteristics. These data, along with the kinetics of response to early treatment, help establish the individual risk class with considerable accuracy, and support risk-specific treatments that should warrant optimal results with as little as possible nonrelapse mortality. Modern first-line therapy consists of standard- and high-dose chemotherapy (increasingly inspired to pediatric principles), hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation, and new targeted therapy, all integrated with the analysis of prognostic factors and the study of subclinical residual disease for key therapeutic decisions. These changes are improving long-term outcome, which in ongoing studies is expected close to 50% or greater.

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