Patients with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at a single institution were analyzed retrospectively. From 2006 to 2010, 47 patients were treated using the MRC UKALLXII/ECOG E2993 protocol. Prior to July 2005, 40 patients had been treated with the JALSG ALL 87 protocol. A complete remission (CR) rate of 91.5% was achieved with the E2993 protocol, which was not significantly higher than the 80% achieved using JALSG (P > 0.05). The median duration of CR in months was 19 for all patients treated with the MRC UKALLXII/ECOG E2993 protocol. Ph+ patients showed a median CR duration of 11.5 months, while Ph- patients had a significantly longer CR duration of 19 months (P = 0.019). Further, Ph- patients at standard risk (stratified on the basis of age and white blood cell count at diagnosis) had a CR duration of 21 months, which was significantly longer than the 12-month CR duration for the ten Ph- patients at high risk (P = 0.001). Significant differences were found in the 2-year event-free survival and overall survival rates between the MRC UKALLXII/ECOG E2993 and JALSG ALL 87 groups in the following three cohorts: all patients (P = 0.009 and 0.022, respectively), Ph- patients (P = 0.009 and 0.018, respectively), and standard-risk patients (P = 0.014 and 0.007, respectively). The overall mortality rate for induction therapy in the MRC UKALLXII/ECOG E2993 group was 2.1% (1 of 47 patients). One or more instances of grade IV myelosuppression occurred during induction therapy. Among the non-hematological toxicities, alopecia and elevated ALT and AST levels were the most common. The levels of ALT and AST could be reduced to less than twofold the normal values within 1-2 weeks. The data indicate that the MRC UKALLXII/ECOG E2993 regimen is well tolerated in Chinese adults with ALL and can improve survival compared with the JALSG ALL 87 protocol. Risk stratification at diagnosis based on age and WBC count is suitable for adults with ALL, and it is necessary to adopt different strategies as determined by diagnostic results. Lastly, Ph+ patients have an extremely poor prognosis.