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"Children's Hospital Boston: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia" icon

Children's Hospital Boston: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

This webpage explains about leukemia in children, specifically acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), also called lymphocytic or lymphoid, accounts for about 75 to 80 percent of the childhood leukemias. In this form of the disease, the lymphocyte cell line is affected. The lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, normally fight infection. With acute lymphocytic leukemia, the bone marrow makes too many of these lymphocytes and they do not mature correctly. The lymphocytes overproduce, thus crowding out other blood cells. In addition, these immature blood cells (blasts) do not work properly to fight infection. In some cases, these cancerous lymphocytes can affect the brain, spinal cord and other organs.


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