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Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in adults

Lead researcher: Dr. Josep Mª Ribera

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in adults

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is a kind of blood cancer in which, for reasons unknown, an excessive quantity of immature lymphoid progenitor cells is produced. The cancer cells reproduce rapidly and replace the normal cells in the bone marrow, the soft tissue at the centre of the bones, where blood cells are formed.

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is an aggressive cancer which is infrequent in adults and mainly affects children. It accounts for 15% of acute leukaemias in adults. Dr. Josep Maria Ribera is a leading international figure in this field.

Why do we need to investigate?

In adult, ALL the average rate of survival does not exceed 50% and many patients have to undergo a transplant of hematopoietic progenitors (bone marrow, peripheral blood, umbilical cord blood) from a compatible donor, a procedure that has many complications and secondary effects.

The impact of our work

Dr. Ribera's team's work on acute lymphoblastic leukemia is both clinical and biological. On the clinical side, the aim is to establish and improve the healthcare protocols and carry out clinical trials throughout Spain and Europe. On the biological side, the search is for genetic lesions that might make it possible to identify "hot spots" in cells upon which to act (therapeutic targets).

Another of the team's current projects is to investigate whether a new genetic technique will make it possible to determine more precisely the level of leukaemia left in the organism after initial treatment, something known as 'residual disease'. This will help to better manage the treatment given afterwards, be it chemotherapy or a transplant of hematopoietic progenitors.

Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute Dossier

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For more information, the following web page can be consulted:

Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute - Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Webpage updated 12/20/2017 11:06:36