Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Symptoms

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Acute lymphoblastic leukemia ( ALL ) is a cancer of the lymphoid line of blood cells characterized by the development of large numbers of immature lymphocytes . [1] Symptoms may include feeling tired, pale skin color, fever , easy bleeding or bruising, enlarged lymph nodes , or bone pain. [1] As an acute leukemia , ALL progresses rapidly and is typically fatal within weeks or months if left untreated. [10]

Wiki info

Several characteristic genetic changes lead to the creation of a leukemic lymphoblast. These changes include chromosomal translocations, intrachromosomal rearrangements, changes in the number of chromosomes in leukemic cells, and additional mutations in individual genes. Chromosomal translocations involve moving a large region of DNA from one chromosome to another. This move can result in placing a gene from one chromosome that promotes cell division to a more actively transcribed area on another chromosome. The result is a cell that divides more often. An example of this includes the translocation of C-MYC, a gene that encodes a transcription factor that leads to increased cell division, next to the immunoglobulin heavy- or light-chain gene enhancers, leading to increased C-MYC expression and increased cell division. Other large changes in chromosomal structure can result in placement of two genes directly next to each other. The result is the combination of two usually separate proteins into a new fusion protein. This protein can have a new function that promotes the development of cancer. Examples of this include the ETV6-RUNX1 fusion gene that combines two factors that promote blood cell development and the BCR-ABL1 fusion gene of the Philadelphia chromosome. BCR-ABL1 encodes an always-activated tyrosine kinase that causes frequent cell division. These mutations produce a cell that divides more often, even in the absence of growth factors.

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