Diagnosis and management of neonatal leukaemia

Marieke H van der Linden, Sara Creemers, Rob Pieters
Seminars in Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 2012, 17 (4): 192-195
Leukaemia in neonates (infants <1 month) is rare, whereby neonatal acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is more frequent than neonatal acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). High mortality rates are observed, though AML has a better prognosis than ALL. Neonatal leukaemia is typically presented with hepatosplenomegaly, leukaemia cutis and/or hyperleucocytosis. Congenital infections should be ruled out before diagnosis. Rearrangement of the MLL gene is the most frequently occurring genetic aberration. Treatment includes intensive multi-agent chemotherapy, usually with age-related dose adjustments next to supportive care. Treatment intensification for ALL could be indicated in the future as the dismal prognosis is subject to high relapse rates in ALL.

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