Cell birth and death in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: how fast does the neoplastic cell clone expand?

Br J Haematol. 1997 Sep;98(4):999-1001. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2141.1997.d01-3571.x.


In 23 children with untreated precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the daily growth rate of the malignant cell clone was calculated. Cell birth expanded the leukaemic cell clone an average 10-11% per day, programmed cell death or apoptosis reduced the leukaemic cell mass by some 4% per day. From these two variables a net increase in the size of the leukaemic cell population of 6.9+/-7.3% (range -1.2-27.3%) per day could be calculated. The daily growth rate correlated negatively with the logarithm of the duration of clinical symptoms before the diagnosis of ALL was established (r=-0.680; P=0.0004). A long history, especially in children with undefined bone pain and arthralgias, was associated with a very slow expansion of the neoplastic cell clone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Death
  • Cell Division
  • Child
  • Clone Cells / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology*
  • Time Factors