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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Version 1.2017


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia


You’ve learned that you have or may have

ALL. Part 1 explains some basics about

this cancer that may help you talk with

your doctor. These basics may also help

you start planning for treatment.


Blood is made of many types of cells. The three main

types are platelets, red blood cells, and white blood

cells. Each type of blood cell has a different job.

Platelets help control bleeding. Red blood cells carry

oxygen throughout the body. White blood cells help

fight germs and infections in the body. They are part

of your body’s disease-fighting system—called the

immune system.

Lymphoblasts are a type of very young white blood

cells. Over time, they become mature white blood

cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are mostly

found in the blood and lymphatic system.

The two main types of lymphocytes are

B-lymphocytes (B-cells) and T-lymphocytes (T-cells).

B-cells make antibodies that mark germs for killing.

T-cells alert your body that germs are present, kill

diseased cells, and help B-cells work.

Figure 1

Blood cells in bone


Bone marrow is the soft,

sponge-like tissue in the

center of most bones.

Blood stem cells in the

bone marrow make all

types of blood cells.

Illustration Copyright © 2017 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.