Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignancy diagnosed in children. Inherited predisposition and exposure to exogenous leukemogenic agents have been investigated as potential risk factors. Current therapy results in 5-year event-free survival exceeding 80% in children in developed countries. Predisposition to ALL and event-free outcome seems to be influenced by polymorphisms on genes involved in several metabolic pathways. The purpose of this review is to discuss the findings of different studies upon the role of gene polymorphisms in childhood ALL.