Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children: A short review

Document Type: Review Article


1 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran



Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is as the most common childhood cancer. The definite etiology of childhood ALL is unknown. The pathogenesis of ALL is described as the disruption of lymphocyte proliferation and differentiation. The most common signs and symptoms of ALL are fever, hepatosplenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, pallor, and bleeding. Diagnosis is based on conducting complete blood cell, peripheral blood smear, bone marrow aspirate, immunophenotype, and cytogenetics tests. A number of demographic, clinical, and paraclinical characteristics of patients have been determined as prognostic factors. To select the appropriate treatment protocol, patients are risk stratified. In induction therapy, vincristine, corticosteroid, and asparaginase are given for the low- and standard risk groups and a four-drug induction therapy including vincristine, corticosteroid, asparaginase, and anthracycline are given for high- and very high-risk group for B cell ALL. The induction phase follow with post-induction courses including consolidation, interim maintenance, delayed intensification, and maintenance phases. ALL in pediatrics has a good prognosis and high cure rate.