Acute leukemia is a generic term representing a L variety of closely related diseases characterized by abnormal proportions of immature hematopoietic cells, often with abnormal morphological features. These diseases in their untreated state eventually prove lethal, nearly always within one year.
Their cause or causes are unknown, and form the basis for a vast spectrum of fundamental research.
The treatment of acute leukemia can be divided into approximately three historical stages: (1) before 1947, the era of despair with no effective treatment, (2) from 1947 to 1963, the advent of chemotherapy, and with the failure to find a curative drug, the era of palliation, and (3) since 1963, when induction therapies, complementary treatments including consolidation, intensification, maintenance, and inducer dosing, the multiple combinations of drugs, the appearance of new chemotherapeutic agents, and the beginnings of successful immunotherapy have made palliation alone too mean a goal. Chemotherapeutic cure is now a