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A 59-year-old female asked:

Could you give me the median survival for the elderly , over 65 , with acute lymphoblastic leukemia ?also, what was it 30 yrs.ago? i lost a loved one in 1982, wondering if life expectancy improving in this age group?i'm not sure what the life expectancy w

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lauren Stegman
Radiation Oncology 27 years experience
Modern : Modern therapy is expected to get 60 - 80% of adults with all into remission. Unfortunately, with standard chemotherapy alone only 30-40% of adult all patients live more than 2 years. This likely compares to a 20-30% long-term survival rate in the early 1980s. Much more significant improvements have been made in the treatment of children with all with long-term survival in over 80% of kids with the disease. We now know much more about the genetic abnormalities in the cancer cells than we did in the 1980's and can better predict a patient's prognosis and tailor treatment for them. In particular, outcomes are now much better for mature b-cell all and there are targeted agents available for treating philadelphia chromosome-positive disease as well. Age continues to be a poor prognostic factor with people over 50 not fairing as well as younger adult patients.
Dr. Agos Luca
Specializes in Pathology
Not too good...: Age older than 60 years is one of the adverse prognostic indicators for adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The presence of the philadelphia chromosome, mll gene rearrangement, WBC over 100, 000/microliter, and failure to achieve remission after 4 weeks of therapy are other poor prognostic factors. Overall, only 20-40% of adults are cured and these are usually the ones without adverse factors.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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