Hong Kong Journal of Paediatrics

Volume 8 Number 3, July 2003

Current Status of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in Children

GCF Chan, CH Pui


Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is the commonest form of childhood malignancy with an estimated annual incidence of 40 to 50 new cases (<15 years) in Hong Kong. The cure rate for ALL in children has improved drastically over the past 2 decades and is approaching 70% currently. Well-designed collaborative clinical trials had contributed greatly to this success in treatment outcome. The advances in new technology especially in the field of molecular biology also help to revolutionise the process of risk assessment, treatment stratification and disease monitoring. In addition to the advances in treatment, progresses had also been made in the understanding of leukaemogenesis and its associated risk factors, individual susceptibility and prognosis assessment. But while there are more and more childhood ALL children being cured, long-term therapy-related complications starts to emerge and becomes a new challenge. This review article will mainly focus on the recent advances in the areas of leukaemogenesis, prognostic assessment, current treatment design and late effect of ALL management. (HK J Paediatr (new series) 2003;8:170-183)

Key words : Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia


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