Frequently Asked Questions:

Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma

How can I find out if I have Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?

Your doctor can determine if you have Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma (ALL) by sending some blood tests and doing a bone marrow biopsy. A bone marrow biopsy is done in the doctor’s office and is a simple procedure to take a very small sample of the bone marrow to be evaluated under a microscope. A bone marrow biopsy also allows the doctor to look for specific cell markers and genetic features of the disease which guide therapy and help to determine a prognosis.

How is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) treated?

ALL treatment depends heavily on the genetic features of the leukemia as determined by the biopsies. Treatment consists of combination chemotherapy. It is usually made up of three parts: (1) an induction phase - which works to eliminate the bulk of the leukemia in the peripheral blood and bone marrow; (2) a consolidation phase - which works to get rid of the few cells that escaped the initial therapy; and (3) a maintenance phase - which helps prevent your leukemia from coming back. The induction and consolidation phases are given in the hospital whereas the maintenance phase is usually a form of chemotherapy that can be taken at home as an oral medication. Depending on the genetic features of your disease, sometimes the doctors can give specific targeted therapies to block the genes that are responsible for causing the leukemia. Sometimes, in select cases, bone marrow transplantation is necessary to ensure your best chance of cure. Physicians at the Center for Lymphoid Malignancy have extensive experience taking care of patients with this disease, and work with physicians around the country to study better ways to cure the disease.