Acute Leukemia

"Currently, the survival of patients with this disease has been considerably increased".


Acute leukemias are neoplastic proliferations of immature hematopoietic cells whose progressive accumulation is accompanied by a decrease in the production of normal blood cells (decrease in leukocytes, red blood cells and platelets).

Within acute leukemias there are two large groups, depending on the type of cell that proliferates (lymphoblastic leukemia if the neoplastic cell is of lymphoid origin, or myeloblastic leukemia if the neoplastic cell is of myeloid origin).

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is more frequent in children than in adults. However, acute myeloblastic leukemias are more frequent as age increases.


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What are the symptoms of acute leukemia?

The symptoms of acute leukemias can be derived from

  • The disease itself: tiredness, weakness, weight loss, heavy night sweats
  • Derived from the invasion of the bone marrow by neoplastic or leukemic cells: decrease of red blood cells, which produces anemia, displacement of leukocytes which can produce a greater tendency to suffer infections and decrease of platelets producing more or less intense bleeding.
  • Derived from the invasion of leukemic cells into other organs: spontaneous bone pain or pain under pressure (very frequent in children, sometimes confused with rheumatic diseases), enlarged lymph nodes, hypertrophy of the gums, etc.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Fatigue.
  • Loss of weight.
  • Bone pain.
  • Anemia.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have acute leukemia

What are the causes of acute leukemia?

The origin of the disease is unknown, but there are some factors associated with its development: radiation, chemicals, drugs, genetic factors, viruses, etc.

What is the prognosis of acute leukemia?

Until not so many years ago, the mortality rate of acute leukemias was very high in a short time.

However, at the present time we can talk about cure in some specific types of acute leukemia. In many other cases, survival has been significantly increased.

How is acute leukemia diagnosed?

<p>Imagen de tubos de análisis de sangre del Laboratorio de Hematología de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra&nbsp;</p>

The diagnosis of acute leukemias is often suspected because of clinical symptoms (hemorrhages, intense pallor, infections, high fever...).

The confirmation of the diagnosis is done by blood tests and bone marrow puncture.

Nowadays, flow cytometry, cytogenetic and molecular biology analyses are essential for the exact diagnosis of each of the subtypes of acute leukaemia.

The treatment of acute leukemias today is still chemotherapy. The schemes vary depending on the type of acute leukemia.

How is acute leukemia treated?

We have a Day Hospital for outpatient treatment of leukemia

The treatment of acute leukemias is still chemotherapy today. The schemes vary depending on the type of acute leukemia.

Likewise, bone marrow transplant plays a very important role in the treatment, either autologous (from the patient himself) or allogeneic (from a donor) depending on multiple factors, each case being individualized.

Nowadays, new drugs and new therapeutic strategies are being developed, not only to destroy the neoplastic cell, but also to inhibit its growth and to favour its differentiation.

In this sense we can mention the retinoic acid derivatives, the new monoclonal antibodies linked to chemotherapy or gene therapy.

What clinical trials do we have on Acute Leukemia?

A multidisciplinary team of renowned prestige being at the forefront


Advanced Therapy Unit

The Advanced Therapies Unit of Clínica Universidad de Navarra has been established in order to deal exclusively with cellular therapies against cancer and other diseases of the immune system, favouring their administration and seeking to increase the safety of these treatments.

A multidisciplinary team of highly specialised nurses together with physicians from all the specialities involved in the approach to those treatments that depend on advanced therapy drugs and immunotherapy

Where do we treat it?


The Hematology and Hemotherapy Service of the
at the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

The Hematology Service of the Clinic, formed by specialists of recognized national and international prestige, has integrated molecular diagnostic techniques and the use of new personalized treatments in its assistance work, allowing a more precise and fast diagnosis of the hematological diseases.

The joint work of the medical staff and the researcher facilitates the development and application of the new treatments and at the same time the precise evaluation of the result of the treatments.

Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • Experts in the development of Cellular Therapy treatments.
  • International reference center in lymphomas, multiple myeloma and monoclonal gammopathies.
  • Experts in the diagnosis and treatment of hemorrhagic and thrombotic problems.

Our team of professionals