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Leukemia is a hematological malignancy caused by clonal proliferation of abnormal lymphoid or hematopoietic cells in the bone marrow and/or lymphoid system. There are many different types of leukemias. Acute leukemia progresses fast, and patients’ condition deteriorates quickly without treatment; while chronic leukemia progresses slowly, and the patients may stay with the disease for a long time even without treatment. Acute leukemia is predominantly the malignancy of lymphoid or hematopoietic precursors (blasts). Based on cell origin, acute leukemia can be classified as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, or acute leukemia of ambiguous lineage. Chronic leukemia represents the malignancy of mature or maturing lymphoid or hematopoietic cells, and predominantly affects adults. Leukemias can be further classified into many subtypes with the incorporation of more clinical, phenotypic, and genetic information. The frontline treatment for leukemia is chemotherapy. Tremendous advances have been made in the leukemia field during the last several decades. Our understanding of the biology of different types of leukemia has been significantly improved through a huge amount of basic and clinical research. The application of advanced diagnostic technologies has led to the identification of many new leukemia subtypes with distinct genetic defects. Some of these defects have the potential for targeted therapy. CONTINUE READING…..
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