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What is the survival rate of an adult that has acute lymphoblastic leukemia?

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Quick Answer

The survival rate for adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia is typically around 40 percent. Although between 80 and 90 percent of patients have remissions following treatment, about half experience a relapse, bringing the cure rate down closer to 40 percent, notes Healthline.

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Full Answer

The outlook for acute lymphoblastic leukemia depends on several factors, according to WebMD. Younger patients tend to have a better outlook, and the prognosis generally worsens with age. Outlooks also tend to be better if lab tests indicate that the patient has a lower white blood count when diagnosed. Having a chromosome abnormality called the Philadelphia chromosome indicates a worse prognosis, and outlooks are better if the patient responds well to chemotherapy and shows no evidence of leukemia four to five weeks after starting treatment.

To prevent relapse in patients with remission, post-induction therapy attempts to completely rid the body of leukemia cells that have not been found by common blood or marrow tests. Therapy usually involves cycles of treatment over two to three years, and the drugs used are different than those used in induction therapy, explains WebMD.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a type of leukemia that begins in the white blood cells in the bone marrow. It invades the blood and can spread to other organs, such as the liver, spleen and lymph nodes. It is an aggressive type of leukemia that can progress quickly and is fatal within a few months if not treated, states WebMD.

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