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Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Genetic Overview and Application to Clinical Practice

Stephanie Jacobson
Matthew Tedder
Julie Eggert
CJON 2016, 20(6), E147-E154 DOI: 10.1188/16.CJON.E147-E154

Background: Cytogenetic and molecular features of diseases, such as B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL), are increasingly used for diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment decisions in health care.

Objectives: This review provides information on the current recommendations for evaluating genetic aberrations in patients with BCP-ALL and details how the results are incorporated to determine risk stratification. It also offers a brief overview of developing research on newly found genetic features that may play a role in prognostic and treatment decisions.

Methods: Databases were reviewed using search terms relevant to BCP-ALL genetics, as well as to the prognostic significance of genetic changes commonly seen in BCP-ALL. Because of the scope of this review, studies identified as having outcomes with implications for clinical practice were included.

Findings: Cytogenetic and molecular aberrations in BCP-ALL are important not only for risk stratification but also for treatment decisions. To provide efficient and effective care for patients with BCP-ALL, clinical practitioners need to be aware of current recommendations and the state of prevailing research.

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