Forms of Leukemia

The most commonly diagnosed types and subtypes of leukemia (as well as some rare forms) and many of the possible treatments are included in this table. Discuss your options with your health care team.

Cancer type Description
Acute lymphocytic (lymphoblastic) leukemia (ALL) • Abnormal lymphoblasts develop quickly and block the production of normal bone marrow cells
Acute precursor B-cell (pre-B-cell) lymphoblastic leukemia
• Fast-growing
• Excess of B-cell lymphoblasts
Acute T-cell (lymphoblastic) leukemia (T-cell ALL)
• Fast-growing
• Excess of T-cell lymphoblasts in bone marrow
Burkitt acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL)
• Rare
• Fast-growing
• Rapid increase of B-cell lymphocytes
Ph-positive (Philadelphia-positive) ALL
• Has the gene mutation BCR-ABL
• Philadelphia chromosome present
• Fast-growing
• Abundance of B-cell lymphoblasts
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) • Abnormal myeloblasts develop quickly and block the production of normal bone marrow cells
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)
• Abnormal promyelocytes accumulate in bone marrow
Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL)
• 4 subtypes: smoldering, chronic, acute, lymphomatous
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
• Slow-growing
• Excess of abnormal B- or T-cell lymphocytes
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
• Grows slowly at first
• Affects myeloid cells
• Philadelphia chromosome usually present
Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML)
• Elevated number of monocytes
• Affects primarily people ages 65-75
Hairy cell leukemia (HCL)
• Rare and slow-growing
• Cells appear hairy under microscope
• More common in men
• Average age at diagnosis, 50
Large granular lymphocytic leukemia (LGLL)
• Affects T-cells or NK-cells
• Larger lymphocytes with noticeable granules
Natural killer cell leukemia (NK)
• Rare
• Aggressive growth of NK- cells
Prolymphocytic leukemia (PLL)
• Rare
• Affects B- or T-cell lymphocytes
• Numerous immature lymphocytes
• Affects primarily people ages 65-70