The genetics and mechanisms of T cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Nat Rev Cancer. 2016 Jul 25;16(8):494-507. doi: 10.1038/nrc.2016.63.


T cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive haematological malignancy derived from early T cell progenitors. In recent years genomic and transcriptomic studies have uncovered major oncogenic and tumour suppressor pathways involved in T-ALL transformation and identified distinct biological groups associated with prognosis. An increased understanding of T-ALL biology has already translated into new prognostic biomarkers and improved animal models of leukaemia and has opened opportunities for the development of targeted therapies for the treatment of this disease. In this Review we examine our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms of T-ALL and recent developments in the translation of these results to the clinic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics*
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Receptor, Notch1 / genetics
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics
  • Signal Transduction


  • NOTCH1 protein, human
  • Receptor, Notch1
  • Ribosomal Proteins