Current management of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in adults.
Intensive remission chemotherapy followed by post-remission consolidation and maintenance therapies has achieved complete remission rates of 75% to 90% and 3-year survival rates of 25% to 50% in adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). These results, although promising, are still less favorable than those achieved in childhood ALL. However, various novel experimental and clinical approaches show promise for improving cure rates. Also, specific therapies directed at high-risk subgroups with ALL are beginning to emerge. Detection of specific chromosomal abnormalities at diagnosis identifies patients who are at risk of failing to achieve remission, as well as those who are likely to have short, intermediate, or prolonged disease-free intervals after successful remission induction. Such prognostic information may, ultimately, be used to assign risk categories and to individualize post-remission therapy.
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