Acute leukemia – a history of study, causes
Oncohematological diseases (hemoblastosis) are malignant tumors originating from blood cells. The main groups of hemoblastosis include acute leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic myeloproliferative diseases and lymphoproliferative diseases.
Acute leukemia (OL) is a life-threatening cancer, the tumor cells of which originate from blood cells. The first description of leukemia (leukemia, or “leukemia”) belongs to R. Virchow (1845). Soon NLs were described by German and Russian doctors E. Freidreich (1857), K. Slavyansky (1867) and V. Kussner (1876). The terms “acute” and “chronic” used to identify and classify leukemias are of historical origin: prior to the introduction of effective methods of treatment, the patients with NL died within a few weeks; the life expectancy of patients with chronic leukemia ranged from several months to several years.
Acute leukemias are a separate nosological form and never transform into chronic leukemias.
The incidence of acute leukemia averages 4–5 cases per 100,000 population per year and is about the same in different regions. The share of NL accounts for only 3% in the structure of cancer incidence, however, significantly reduces the overall survival in persons younger than 35 years.
There are two types of diseases that differ in their course, the nature of chemotherapy and the results of treatment: 1) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), accounting for 80-90% in the structure of leukemia in children; 2) acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which in 80% of cases develop in adults.
The average age of patients with ALL is 10 years, AML is 60-65 years old, but both forms of acute leukemia can occur at any age.
The incidence of acute myeloblastic leukemia is 2.5-3 cases per 100,000 population per year, acute lymphoblastic leukemia – 1.5-2 cases per 100,000 population per year.
The incidence of acute myeloid leukemia is slightly higher in men (1.5: 1.0). The disease is relatively rare before the age of 40 (1 case per 100,000 population), after which it begins to increase, reaching 15 per 100,000 in people 75 years and older. In ALL, the peak incidence occurs in the age group up to 10 years (this is the most common malignant tumor in children).
In general, about 80% of patients with OL are adults. In connection with the peculiarities of the course of the disease at different ages, there are two main groups: acute leukemia in children (up to 15 years) and acute leukemia in adults (older than 15 years). There is also a third group – OL elderly (over 60 years), the effectiveness of which is significantly lower because of the poor tolerance of intensive chemotherapy.