What Is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?
Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is a blood and bone marrow cancer that affects the spongy tissue inside bones that produces blood cells.
The term “acute” stems from the fact that acute lymphocytic leukemia advances quickly and produces immature blood cells rather than mature ones. In acute lymphocytic leukemia, the term “lymphocytic” refers to the white blood cells known as lymphocytes, which are affected by ALL. Acute lymphocytic leukemia, also known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is a type of leukemia that affects the blood cells.
The most frequent type of cancer in children is acute lymphocytic leukemia, which has a fair chance of being cured. Adults can also develop acute lymphocytic leukemia, albeit the chances of a cure are slim.
Prognosis for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
The following are prognostic and predictive factors for ALL:
Younger adults, often those under 50, have a better outlook than elderly adults. This could be due to the fact that chromosomal abnormalities can develop as a person ages. Other health issues in older people may make it difficult for them to cope with the negative effects of ALL therapies.
White blood cell count
A predictive factor for ALL is the white blood cell (WBC) count at the time of diagnosis. B-cell ALL patients with a WBC of fewer than 30,000 and T-cell ALL patients with a WBC of less than 100,000 had a better prognosis.
Hyperdiploid B-ALL has a better prognosis than other forms of ALL.
, However, with targeted therapy, maintenance therapy, and stem cell transplantation, the prognosis is improving all the time.
Changes to certain chromosomes are a prognostic factor for ALL.
The Philadelphia chromosome
The Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome (also known as Ph-positive ALL, or Ph+ ALL) is the most prevalent abnormality found in ALL leukemia cells. The Ph chromosome is the result of a rearrangement of chromosomes 9 and 22. The BCR-ABL fusion gene is formed as a result of this transfer, which leads to the formation of ALL.
Having leukemia cells with the Ph chromosome is used to indicate a poor prognosis. Ph+ ALL is now treated with targeted therapy medications, which means the prognosis for this cancer is better.
Other chromosome changes
The following chromosome abnormalities usually mean a less favorable prognosis:
- a translocation between chromosomes 4 and 11
- having an extra chromosome 8
- missing chromosome 7
- hypodiploidy (with less than the normal number of 46 chromosomes)
- The following chromosome abnormalities usually mean a more favo
- hyperdiploidy (usually with more than 50 and less than 66 chromosomes)
- a translocation between chromosomes 10 and 14
How Long Can You Live with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?
The prognosis for acute lymphoblastic leukemia is determined by the patient’s age and therapeutic response. ALL has a five-year survival rate of 68.1 percent. With newer and better treatment approaches, survival rates continue to improve. Those under 35 have a better prognosis, and children have the best prognosis. Those above the age of 65 have the highest fatality rates from ALL. ALL can be healed in 40 percent of adults. American children with ALL have an average five-year survival rate of roughly 85 percent. If a child remains in remission (symptom-free) for more than five years after treatment, they are declared cured of ALL.
Approximately 98 percent of children with ALL will go into remission. When a child is in remission, he or she has no signs or symptoms of the disease, and blood cell counts are within normal ranges.
Numerous infections (bacterial, fungal, and viral), severe nutritional deficits, and failure of multiple organ systems can all cause leukemia patients to die. Patients may potentially experience treatment-related problems, which can be life-threatening.
Survival Statistics for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Generally, for all people with ALL:
More than 65 out of 100 people (more than 65 percent) will survive their leukemia for five years or more after being diagnosed.
This is for all ages. Younger people tend to do better than older people.
For those younger than 15:
Almost 90 out of 100 (almost 90 percent) will survive their leukemia for five years or more after diagnosis.
For those aged between 15 and 39:
Almost 65 out of 100 (almost 65 percent) will survive their leukemia for five years or more after diagnosis.
For those who are 40 or older:
Around 20 out of 100 (around 20 percent) will survive their leukemia for five years or more after diagnosis.
Your age affects how well leukemia responds to treatment. Younger people have a better prognosis.
What Affects Survival for All?
Other factors that affect everyone’s outlook include:
- the type of white blood cell that is affected by leukemia
- if your blood contains a large quantity of white blood cells at the time of diagnosis
- the alterations discovered in your cancer cells’ chromosomes or genes
Some genetic mutations in your leukemia cells may make the disease more difficult to treat. However, some improvements may make it easier by allowing for more targeted treatment.
Your prognosis is also influenced by how well your leukemia reacts to treatment and how long it takes for you to reach remission. When looking at your bone marrow under a microscope, remission means there is no trace of leukemia.