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What is acute lymphoblastic leukemia?

In the form of leukemia known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a group of white blood cells called lymphocytes is affected. It is also sometimes called acute lymphocytic leukemia or lymphoid leukemia. ALL accounts for about 75 to 80 percent of the childhood leukemias. Leukemia is the most common form of cancer in children, affecting about 3,000 children each year in the United States, accounting for about 30 percent of childhood cancers.

How we care for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia are treated through the Leukemia Program at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s has played a key role in refining treatment for childhood leukemia, resulting in today's cure rates of more than 85 percent for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We continue to lead leukemia clinical trials designed to increase cure rates, decrease treatment-related side effects and improve care for long-term survivors.

Find in-depth information on acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute website, including answers to:

  • What are the symptoms of ALL?
  • How is ALL diagnosed?
  • What is relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia?
  • What is the best treatment for ALL in children?
  • What is the latest research on ALL in children?
  • What is the long-term outlook for ALL in children?

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) | Programs & Services