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.



What Is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?

What is acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)? Watch now to learn ALL basics from expert Dr. Stephen Grupp from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.


Symptoms and Diagnosis of ALL

Dr. Ryan Cassaday discusses the common symptoms of ALL and methods used for diagnosing the disease. Watch now to learn more.


What Is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)?

Dr. Ryan Cassaday from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center gives a brief overview of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Watch now to learn more.


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Page last updated on July 3, 2019