Treating the younger adult with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Lori Muffly, Kristen Petit and Wendy Stock

The past decade has witnessed an increasing awareness of older adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with acute lymphoblastic leukemia as a distinct group of patients, with outcomes historically inferior to those of younger children. Retrospective comparison studies of AYAs treated on pediatric or adult clinical trials have demonstrated significantly improved outcomes for AYAs treated in pediatric trials. These findings have spurred international interest in prospectively evaluating pediatric regimens in young adults, and early results from several of these trials are encouraging. Additional study dedicated to the leukemia biology and psychosocial factors unique to the AYA patient will add further insight and hopefully improve outcomes

for AYAs with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.