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Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is a rapidly progressing type of leukaemia.

Blood cells are formed in the bone marrow, which is the spongy tissue found inside the bones. Blood-forming stem cells divide to produce either more stem cells or immature cells that become mature blood cells over time. In ALL, the process is out of control and the cells continues to divide but not mature.

A lymphoid stem cell becomes a lymphoblast cell and then one of three types of lymphocytes (white blood cells):

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) most commonly affects B lymphocytes. The overproduction of immature B lymphocytes means the body cannot fight infection.

Acute leukaemia progresses rapidly, but it can often be cured with standard treatments, especially in younger or fitter patients.

  • Published: Aug 2016
  • Next planned review: Aug 2018