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Subtypes of childhood ALL
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has different subtypes. Knowing the subtype of your child’s leukemia helps doctors to treat your child.
WHO ALL subtypes
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ALL based on how the leukemia cells (blasts) look under the microscope. It divides ALL into subtypes based on the type of cell involved (B or T cell) and how mature it is. Maturity is described as differentiation, which is the normal process by which immature (unspecialized) cells become mature (specialized) cells.
The WHO subtypes of ALL include:
- precursor B-cell (early pre-B) ALL
- pro B-cell ALL
- mature B-cell ALL
The WHO also considers any genetic changes, such as translocation (rearrangement) of chromosomes, to classify ALL into subtypes.
- B-lymphoblastic leukemia, not otherwise specified
- B-lymphoblastic leukemia with recurrent genetic abnormalities
- B-lymphoblastic leukemia with t(9;22)(q34.1;q11.2); BCR-ABL1
- B-lymphoblastic leukemia with t(v;11q23.3); KMT2A rearranged
- B-lymphoblastic leukemia with hyperdiploidy
- B-lymphoblastic leukemia with hypodiploidy
- B-lymphoblastic leukemia with t(5;14)(q31.1;q32.3); IL3-IGH
- B-lymphoblastic leukemia with t(1;19)(q23;p13.3); TCF-PBX1
- B-lymphoblastic leukemia, BCR-ABL1-like
- B-lymphoblastic leukemia with iAMP21
- early T-cell precursor lymphoblastic leukemia
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.