Is acute lymphoid leukaemia (ALL) hereditary?
Q: Is there any relation between acute lymphoid leukaemia (ALL) with hereditary and bleeding disorders?
A:The cause of ALL is not known but a small percentage of cases are associated with inherited genetic syndromes. This is in contrast to the acute myeloid leukaemias where predisposing heredity states and preleukaemic conditions are well-defined. However, specific chromosomal changes (in number or structure) are seen in more than 90% of cases of ALL with a majority being translocations - BCR-ABL, E2A-PBX1, TEL-AML1 gene fusions, MLL gene rearrangements and hyperdiploidy. Genetic analysis is important so those patients with abnormalities associated with unfavourable prognoses are treated appropriately. There is no relation between ALL and a bleeding disorder except that patients of ALL often present with bleeding due to low platelet count.