Fast Five Quiz: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Karen Seiter, MD


August 18, 2021

A small percentage of patients with a prior known malignancy develop secondary ALL. These patients face a worse prognosis than do those with de novo ALL. A study of the California Cancer Registry noted that 3% of patients had a prior known malignancy, and any prior malignancy predisposed to the development of ALL.

Similarly, in an analysis of the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database, the incidence of ALL was higher than expected in patients with a prior history of Hodgkin lymphoma, small cell lung cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Rarely, patients with ALL have an antecedent hematologic disorder such as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) that evolves to ALL. In most cases, however, when patients have MDS that evolves to acute leukemia, they develop AML rather than ALL.

Learn more about secondary ALL, including genetic susceptibility.


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