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What is acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?

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ALL is a type of leukemia that starts in white blood cells in the marrow, the soft inner part of your bones. It develops from cells called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell central to your immune system, or from lymphoblasts, an immature type of lymphocyte.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia invades the blood and can spread throughout your body to other organs like the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. But it doesn't normally cause tumors. It's an acute type of leukemia, which means it can progress quickly. Without treatment, it can be fatal within a few months.

SOURCES: 

American Cancer Society: "What is acute lymphocytic leukemia?"  "How is acute lymphocytic leukemia classified?"  "What are the risk factors for acute lymphocytic leukemia?" "How is acute lymphocytic leukemia diagnosed?"  "Treating Leukemia -- Acute Lymphocytic (ALL) in Adults;" and "Response rates to treatment." 

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: "Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia" and "Leukemia Facts & Statistics."

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

FDA: “FDA approval brings first gene therapy to the United States.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on January 20, 2020

SOURCES: 

American Cancer Society: "What is acute lymphocytic leukemia?"  "How is acute lymphocytic leukemia classified?"  "What are the risk factors for acute lymphocytic leukemia?" "How is acute lymphocytic leukemia diagnosed?"  "Treating Leukemia -- Acute Lymphocytic (ALL) in Adults;" and "Response rates to treatment." 

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: "Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia" and "Leukemia Facts & Statistics."

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

FDA: “FDA approval brings first gene therapy to the United States.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on January 20, 2020

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What is the outlook for people with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?

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