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Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) – Adults

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Overview

The Hemato-Oncology Division at Sheba Medical Center in Israel offers detailed diagnoses and cutting-edge, tailored treatments for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in adults. Doctors from various medical disciplines, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and hematologists, collaborate to assess each individual case and design the most effective therapies. The Sheba team consists of world-leading cancer experts with extensive experience in treating ALL.

At the forefront of medical research and technologies, Sheba Medical Center implements breakthrough therapies for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Israel that are not widely available, such as CAR T-cell therapy. When necessary, we perform advanced bone marrow transplants, utilizing a progressive HLA laboratory and our on-site molecular laboratory to locate a perfect donor match. If no genetically suitable donor is identified, Sheba is also a member of the National Marrow Donor Program and we may use stem cells from this data bank.

A holistic approach to healthcare is our guiding principle, and we consider your overall well-being when designing your treatment program for ALL. Our doctors treat all aspects of the body – physical, psychological, and not just the cancer. From your initial consultation through follow-up monitoring, we will provide clear explanations of what to expect and address your individual concerns. This way, you become an active partner in personalizing your ALL therapy. At Sheba, our compassionate team is always available to support you with a range of services to enhance comfort and quality of life for you and your family.

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) - Adults

About Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

A form of blood and bone marrow malignancy, ALL is an aggressive, fast-growing disease that can develop at any age (although it is more common in children). In the United States, about 1,000 new cases of ALL are diagnosed in adults every year.

What is ALL?

In this disease, the bone marrow begins to produce too many immature lymphocytes, called lymphoblasts. These abnormal cells do not function properly and block the production of other types of healthy blood cells, such as red blood cells and platelets.

What are the Risk Factors for ALL?

The precise cause of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia remains unknown for the vast majority of cases. In addition, research has shown that most cases of ALL are not hereditary. However, a number of risk factors have been determined:
  • Family history of ALL
  • Having an identical twin with ALL
  • Specific genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome
  • Having received chemotherapy or radiation therapy in the past
  • Having particular viral infections, such as human T-cell lymphoma/leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1), which is rare outside of the Caribbean and Japan

What are the Symptoms of ALL?

ALL can be very aggressive, spreading rapidly to involve the lymph nodes, central nervous system, skin, spleen, or bone marrow and blood. Most of the signs and symptoms of ALL are caused by a shortage of normal blood cells, which occurs when leukemia cells overcrowd the healthy cells in the bone marrow.

The most common symptoms include:
  • Unexplained weight loss or reduced appetite
  • Fatigue, generalized weakness
  • Flu-like symptoms – fever, chills, sweats
  • Easy bruising
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Pale skin
  • Headaches
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Infections that don’t go away
  • Bleeding gums

Are there Different Types of ALL?

Unlike many other cancers, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia does not generally form tumors. Generally, it affects the body’s entire bone marrow and by the time it is discovered, it has spread to other organs. Therefore, ALL cannot be staged in the same manner as other cancers. Instead, ALL is classified primarily by the types of lymphocytes that are affected.

  • B-cell ALL affects B lymphocytes, which are produced in the bone marrow and mature there. These white blood cells play a significant role in immunity and antibody production. This type of ALL is more common, comprising about 85% of all cases of ALL.
  • T-cell ALL affects T lymphocytes, which are produced in the bone marrow and mature in the thymus, which is a part of the lymphatic system. T lymphocytes are involved largely in cell-mediated immunity. This type of ALL is less common, representing only about 15% of all cases.

Request a consultation

Sheba Medical Center provides innovative, personalized medical care to patients from around the world. We are the largest, most comprehensive hospital in the Middle East and dedicated to providing advanced and compassionate medicine for everyone. We welcome all cases, including the rarest and the most challenging. Our medical teams collaborate to provide the best possible health outcomes. From your initial inquiry through the long-term follow-up care, we are here for you.

Request a consultation and a Sheba Case Manager will contact you shortly: