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.



How Can Patients Combat the Cost of Sophisticated Blood Tests?

How can cancer patients access the necessary diagnostic and genetic tests to receive the most precise care available? Tune in to hear Dr. Richard Schilsky discuss typical insurance coverage and best use of genetic profiling.


Julie Lanford: Getting Good Nutrition When You Don't Feel Like Eating

Oncology dietitian Julie Lanford shares ways cancer patients with poor appetite, digestive issues, taste changes or other difficulties eating can increase nutrition and more. Watch now to learn expert advice.


Building Emotional Resilience: A Guided Meditation

How can people create positive change in their lives? Join certified yoga therapist Raquel Jex Forsgren for guided meditation to help patients and care partners work toward emotional health, life goals and more.


Q&A With a Cancer Dietitian

What foods should cancer survivors eat? Will cooking in the microwave deplete food of important nutrients? Watch now to hear oncology dietitian Julie Lanford answer these questions and more.


Is Clinical Trial Participation Parallel to the Pace of Drug Development?

Can low clinical trial enrollment stifle advances in cancer care? Watch as expert Dr. Richard Schilsky discusses why, especially in the age of precision medicine, trial participation is critical.


Are Clinical Trial Designs Becoming More Patient-Friendly?

How is the process for clinical trials written with patients in mind? Tune in to hear noted expert Dr. Richard L. Schilsky explain changes in clinical trial care to help patients and researchers.


Transform Your Outlook: How a Change in Perspective Can Improve Life With a Chronic Cancer

How can a perspective shift help change a cancer patient’s quality of life? Watch now to hear expert and patient advice on coping strategies to help overcome cancer diagnosis emotional and psychological challenges.


What Are the Key Steps to Early Cancer Detection?

How can people be better about identifying cancer in early stages? Tune in to hear Tricia Laursen share a three-step process for diagnosing cancer as early as possible.


What’s the Follow-Up Plan After a Clinical Trial?

What happens after a patient participates in a clinical trial for cancer treatment? Watch now to hear both patient and expert perspectives on post-trial follow-up care.


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Page last updated on May 17, 2017