When too many stem cells differentiate into lymphoblasts, T lymphocytes, or B-lymphocytes, we get a condition termed acute lymphoblastic leukemia or ALL. These excess cells are called leukemia cells. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is among the most common cancers in children and the symptoms of ALL in children (including infants and toddlers) can be very unassuming.
Common Symptoms of ALL in Children
Some of the common symptoms that can prompt testing and diagnosis of ALL include,
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Petechiae (flat, pinpoint, dark-red spots under the skin caused by bleeding)
- Bone or joint pain
- Painless lumps in neck, underarm, stomach, or groin
- Pain or feeling of fullness below the ribs
- Weakness, feeling tired, or looking pale
- Loss of appetite
- Recurrent minor infections
- Poor healing of minor cuts
- Vision changes (rare)
- Abdominal swelling
- Bone pain
As evident, symptoms of ALL are very difficult to recognize. Normally, the condition begins abruptly and develops at a very fast rate. However, there have been cases where symptoms develop slowly, are present on one day but disappear on the next. Symptoms seem to appear when,
- There are insufficient mature blood cells for inciting a healthy immune defense against infection.
- Healthy platelets required to prevent bleeding is not enough.
- Red blood cells with depleted oxygen carrying capacity cannot supply required amount of oxygen to organs.
These studies give an insight into the risk factors and incidence of childhood ALL,
- Neurofibromatosis and childhood leukemia/lymphoma: a population based UKCCSG study, the 17 year study examines and concluded that ALL and NHL (non-Hodgkin lymphoma) were often found in children with no previous family history.
- Leukemia in twins: Lessons in natural history, the study provides an insight into the natural history of leukemia. It reveals a frequent prenatal origin, an early role for chromosomal translocations.
- Risk factors for acute leukemia in children: a review, examines the weak and inconsistent association between development of childhood ALL or AML.
Below is a list of clinical trials investigating ALL,
- Genetic Studies of Lysosomal Storage Disorders
- Improved Methods of Cell Selection for Bone Marrow Transplant Alternatives
- Screening Evaluation for Studies of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
- Cell Selection for Bone Marrow Transplants to Prevent Graft-Versus-Host-Disease
- What is Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia ? What is the Survival Rate?
- FDA Approves Talon’s Marqibo For Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
- CureTalk Weekly Round-Up – Interview with Multiple Myeloma Survivor, Myeloma Cure Panel, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and more…
- List of Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML) Clinical Research Studies, New Treatments and Research Sites
- Blood Cancer (Leukemia) Prognosis (Life Expectancy)