Treatment of adolescent and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Josep Maria Ribera, Jordi Ribera, Eulàlia Genescà

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The primary objective of this review was to update and discuss the current concepts and the results of the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in adolescents and young adults (AYA). After a brief consideration of the epidemiologic and clinicobiologic characteristics of ALL in the AYA population, the main retrospective comparative studies stating the superiority of pediatric over adult-based protocols were reviewed. The most important prospective studies in young adults using pediatric inspired or pediatric unmodified protocols were also reviewed emphasizing their feasibility at least up to the age of 40 yr and their promising results, with event-free survival rates of 60-65% or greater. Results of trials from pediatric groups have shown that the unfavourable prognosis of adolescents is no more adequate. The majority of the older adolescents with ALL can be cured with risk-adjusted and minimal residual disease-guided intensive chemotherapy, without stem cell transplantation. However, some specific subgroups, which are more frequent in adolescents than in children (e.g., early pre-T, iAMP21, and BCR-ABL-like), deserve particular attention. In summary, the advances in treatment of ALL in adolescents have been translated to young adults, and that explains the significant improvement in survival of these patients in recent years.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2014052
JournalMediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2014


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