Types of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) can be characterized into different sub-types:

  • Philadelphia chromosome-positive ALL
  • Philadelphia chromosome-negative ALL
  • B cell ALL
  • T cell ALL

B-cell ALL is more common than T-cell ALL.

Other names and sub-types of B-cell and T-cell ALL include:

  • Acute B-lymphocytic leukemia
  • Acute precursor B-cell leukemia
  • Pre-B-cell lymphocytic leukemia
  • Acute T-lymphoblastic leukemia

Your individual treatment plan will depend on your ALL sub-type.

The Philadelphia Chromosome

Some people with ALL have a genetic abnormality referred to as the Philadelphia chromosome.

If you have the Philadelphia chromosome, you will receive chemotherapy and targeted therapies designed specifically for you and the genetic makeup of your leukemia.

The Philadelphia chromosome, discovered more than 50 years ago at Penn, provided the first evidence that genetic abnormalities were linked to cancer. The discovery ushered in the modern period of cytogenetics in the understanding of leukemia. Now, the Center for Personalized Diagnostics builds on this legacy and is set to pave the way for precision medicine.