NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Version 1.2017
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
genes in cells
Genes are coded instructions
in cells for making new
cells and controlling how
cells behave. Genes are
a part of DNA, which is
bundled into long strands
called chromosomes. Every
normal cell has 23 pairs of
Normal blood cells grow and then divide to make
new red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets
as the body needs them. When normal blood cells
grow old or get damaged, they die. New blood cells
are then made to replace the old ones. In a person
with ALL, too many lymphoblasts are made.
Inside of all cells are coded instructions for building
new cells and controlling how cells behave. These
instructions are called genes. Genes are a part
of DNA (
cid). DNA is grouped
together into long strands called chromosomes.
See Figure 3.
Changes (mutations) in genes
cause normal lymphoblasts to become cancer cells.
Researchers are still trying to learn what causes
genes to change and cause cancer.
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