The adolescent and young adult with cancer: state of the art-- acute leukemias

Curr Oncol Rep. 2013 Aug;15(4):317-24. doi: 10.1007/s11912-013-0325-5.


Despite survival gains over the past several decades, adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with both acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) demonstrate a consistent survival disadvantage. The AYA population exhibits unique disease and host characteristics, and further study is needed to improve their outcomes. This review will highlight distinctive aspects of disease biology in this population, as well as salient treatment-related toxicities including osteonecrosis, pancreatitis, thromboembolism, hyperglycemia, and infections. The impact of obesity and differences in drug metabolism and chemotherapy resistance will also be discussed, as well as optimal treatment considerations for the AYA population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / complications
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / mortality
  • Obesity / complications
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / complications
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / mortality
  • Risk Factors
  • Steroids / adverse effects*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Young Adult


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Steroids