What is ALL?

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

is a form of blood cancer that affects a specific type of cell called a lymphoblast. In normal bone marrow, lymphoblasts eventually become white blood cells that help to fight against infections in your body.

Click the diagram on the right to see how white blood cells mature from stem cells in the bone marrow. These white blood cells then leave the bone marrow to fight infections in the blood.

When someone develops ALL, the abnormal lymphoblasts are unable to mature into white blood cells and continue to multiply in the bone marrow. As they multiply, they take up the space needed for healthy cells to mature and grow, and this is what causes the symptoms of ALL and the patient to feel unwell.

ALL develops rapidly and so it is crucial that treatment starts as soon as possible. Once an ALL diagnosis has been made, you and your healthcare team will have to work together to quickly decide the most appropriate treatment decisions. Support during this difficult time is also available from patient groups.

The videos below will help you learn more.



Clinical Trial MythBusters: What Is the Value of Diversity in Clinical Trials?

Is diversity, gender, age and ethnicity important in clinical trials? Mel Mann, a 20+ year CML survivor and a a highly respected leader in the field of clinical oncology weigh in.


Will I Feel Like a Guinea Pig? A Four-Time Clinical Trial Participant Shares Her Experience

A common question patients have when considering a clinical trial is “will I be a guinea pig?” Meet Reina Weiner, a four-time clinical trial participant, as she shares her experience navigating the trial process, patient consent, safety, risks, family issues and more.


Can Low Clinical Trial Participation Inhibit Cancer Research and Innovation?

Lazarex chairman Dana Dornsife says that there’s a “48 percent failure rate of clinical trials, and it's not because the drug didn't work.” Why do some medicines never make it to market? Watch now to find out.


Finding the Right Match: Advice for Patients Who Qualify for Multiple Clinical Trials

Which clinical trial is the best choice for you? Watch now to hear Dr. Mike Thompson and patient advocate Jim Omel discuss factors to consider when weighing your options and share tips for patients trying to prioritize different trials.


Step One in Trial Participation: How Can Patients Learn About New Trials?

Myeloma survivor Reina Weiner and Lazarex chairman Dana Dornsife discuss ways patients can learn about new clinical trial opportunities and share resources to help alleviate the financial burden.


Transparency in Clinical Trials: Data, Safety and Monitoring of Cancer Patients

Many patients wonder; how safe are clinical trials? How transparent is the data from clinical research? Tune in to hear Dr. Mike Thompson and Jim Omel discuss clinical trial care and how the efficacy of new cancer treatments is determined.


Evaluating Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria in Clinical Trials

Eligibility criteria determines who can and cannot participate in a clinical trial. Do today’s studies reflect the actual patient population? Why is inclusion so narrow in some cases? Watch now to hear from Dr. Mike Thompson and Jim Omel.


Actionable Advice and Resources for Knocking Down Obstacles to Trial Participation

More often than not, only a small fraction of patients enroll in a trial due to barriers posed by financial logistics, distrust and travel, to name a few. How do we remove obstacles, clearing the way for patients to have more access to clinical trials? Watch now to find out.


Precision Medicine: Can Biomarkers Help Patients Find a Good Fit for Clinical Trials?

A panel of experts discuss how precision medicine may influence trial eligibility, cost of treatment, pace of drug development and more. Can biomarkers make the clinical trial process more efficient? Watch now to find out.


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Page last updated on May 17, 2017