Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma
Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma (ALL) is a cancer of blood cells, which is most commonly seen in children. Typically, the disease is highly curable in children; however, managing the disease in adults is often times quite challenging. There are many different types of blood cells that originate and grow in your bone marrow. Some of these cells include red blood cells which carry oxygen, platelets which are used to form blood clots and prevent bleeding, and white blood cells whose function is to fight infection. There are many different types of white blood cells such as myeloid and lymphoid families of cells.
ALL is a cancer derived from a very early or premature type of lymphocyte. The term ‘acute’ means that this disease is fast growing and requires medical attention and treatment early. Patients with ALL usually have symptoms related to the fact that these leukemia cells have grown in the bone marrow, leaving little room for normal cells to grow.
Many of the presenting symptoms of ALL are related to its effect on your normal cells. For example: (1) impaired production of red blood cells means less oxygen circulating in the blood, so patients can become short of breath easily or very tired; (2) impaired production of platelets means a compromised ability to form clots, so patients may develop bruises or bloody noses; and (3) impaired production of certain white blood cells, especially neutrophils, can be associated with increased infections that manifest as high fevers.
The management of ALL is among one of the most complicated of any lymphoid malignancy, and needs to be directed by specialized centers with the appropriate expertise.