Risk Groups for Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Key Points for This Section
- Standard (low) risk: Includes children aged 1 to younger than 10 years who have a white blood cell count of less than 50,000/µL at diagnosis.
- High risk: Includes children 10 years and older and/or children who have a white blood cell count of 50,000/µL or more at diagnosis.
Other factors that affect the risk group include the following:
- Whether the leukemia cells began from B lymphocytes or T lymphocytes.
- Whether there are certain changes in the chromosomes or genes of the lymphocytes.
- How quickly and how low the leukemia cell count drops after initial treatment.
- Whether leukemia cells are found in the cerebrospinal fluid at diagnosis.
It is important to know the risk group in order to plan treatment. Children with high-risk ALL usually receive more anticancer drugs and higher doses of anticancer drugs than children with standard-risk ALL.