Leukemia, generally refers to cancers of the WBCs. In America, more than forty thousand people are diagnosed with leukemia each year. It arises in the bone marrow, the soft, sponge-like material inside long bones of four limbs, where blood cells form. Under healthy circumstance, mature blood cells migrate from bone marrow into the blood circulatory system, but in the bone marrow of leukemia patient, some white blood cells divide too fast and cannot get mature as a result of incorrectly development, which finally crowd out the normal, healthy ones. As WBCs play a vital role in protecting body from microbe infection and abnormal cells invasion, the loss of WBCs leads body into a dangerous situation. Gene mutation, chromosome fraction rearrangement, and the exposure to radiation, chemicals are the possible causes of this disease. Meanwhile, heredity and virus infection are also linked to the development of leukemia.

Depending on the type and the growth rate of cell affected, people classify leukemia into four groups:

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) TOP


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) accounts for almost one third of all kinds of cancers in children within the age ranging from 3 to 5 and affects slightly more boys than girls. This disease results from numerous of redundant immature white blood cell (WBC), which crowds out normal WBC, leading the immune system into a dangerous situation of fighting microbe invasion. The exact causes to this disease are still not clear, however, exposure to radiation or benzene, smoking, drinking more than two cups of coffee during pregnancy may increase the risk of childhood ALL. Some other factors such as genetic conditions or viuses infection also play roles in the origination of this blood tumor.

Signs, symptoms and treatments

Symptoms of ALL include frequent infections, fever, pale skin, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, bone pain, lumps in the neck and small red spots under the skin. In ALL clinical treatments, conventional chemotherapy, radiation therapy or stem cell transplantation always followed with serious side effects or rejection reaction. Gene-engineered-methods have developed a heartening road via redirecting T cells to target tumors antigens more effectively to perform the anti-tumor function of T cells.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) TOP


White blood cells (WBC) produced in AML patient’s bone marrow are mostly abnormal. Meanwhile the healthy ones are crowded out by these abnormal ones, and this situation finaly makes the patient face to the challenge of infection. The disease is diagnosed more commonly in adults than in children, with only about 500 as the total number in America each year. AML can be classified into different subtypes depending on how far the cancer cells deviate from their usual development route at the time of diagnosis. The causes of AML are similar to other leukemia, such as smoking, exposure to radiation, previous cancer treatment with chemotherapy, etc.

Signs, symptoms and treatments

The AML patient always has some of the following symptoms: fever, infection, easy bruising and bleeding, frequent nosebleeds, pain in bones or joints, swollen glands and poor appetite. Patients with this disease need to undergo extensive evaluation to be confirmed the subtype, morphology and cytogenetics before the fomal treatments which may include bone marrow transplantation, traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) TOP


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia in the West, and about 30% of all reported leukemias is CLL. This disease occurs when the patient’s bone marrow produces too many abnormal white blood cells (WBC), or lymphocytes, which never become normal, infection fighting WBC. As the amount of these unhealthy lymphocytes increasing, they interfere with the normal production process of other important blood cells. More than 50% of CLL patients are older than 70, and individuals younger than 40 are rarely diagnosed with this disease. Researchers are not certain what are the exact reasons that start CLL, however, exposure to chemicals (e.g. Agent Orange druing the Vietnam War), family history of CLL, getting treated with immunosuppressive agent are possible to increase the risk of developing CLL.

Signs, symptoms and treatments

CLL always accompanies multiple complicated symptoms, including infection, abnormal bleeding, shortness of breath, chill and swollen lymph nodes. The conventional treatments of CLL focus on disease control that achieves a chronic indolent status. During the past ten years, aggressive research in the understanding of CLL has generated innovative therapeutic approaches based on molecular biology.

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) TOP


Normally, the white blood cells (WBC) produced by our bone marrow help fight infection. In chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patient, the affected WBCs belong to a specific kind of blood cells which are named myeloid cells. This disease is often accompanied by a specific type of chromosome rearrangement event, like part of chromosome 9 breaking off and attaching itself to chromosome 22, which results in uncontrolled cell growth. CML occurs more commonly in adults older than 50, and the amount of this group makes up of nearly 70% of all cases with more male versus female. Some factors like older age, being male are related to the causes of CML, while the high levels of radiation exposure is thought to inrease the risk mostly.

Signs, symptoms and treatments

As CML is cancer of the blood-forming bone marrow, patients may experience symptoms differently from each other, some of the most common symptoms include: general fatigue, recurrent infections, swollen lymph nodes, bone and joint pain. However, these common symptoms do not include all possible ones. Depending on the the phase of the leukemia, the amount of cancer cells and other factors, treatments such as tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy, chemotherapy combined with donor stem cell transplant and splenectomy can be carried out. Some genetical engineered therapies which have also shown a great promising view for treating CML.

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