School of Health Sciences


Biology: Biomedical Sciences


acute lymphoblastic leukemia, cancer, treatment, relapse, drug resistance, leukemic blasts, b-cells, genetics, therapy


Medical Cell Biology | Medical Genetics | Medicine and Health Sciences | Neoplasms | Oncology


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common form of cancer among children and can be lethal to the adult population. Though 80% of patients with ALL reach complete remission after treatment, about 20% of those diagnosed fail to remain cancer-free. Genetic rearrangements are the hallmark of relapsed ALL, but the mechanism by which these rearrangements occur is still unclear. Recent research suggests these mutations may be detectable during initial diagnosis. If researchers are able to accurately assess the probability of relapse during diagnosis by analyzing the genome of the leukemic cells, the likelihood of administering effective therapy would increase. Providing patients with a more appropriate therapy early on may prevent relapse altogether or increase survival rates after treatment for relapsed ALL patients.