Advances in Supportive Care for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Joselle Cook, Mark Litzow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Tremendous advances have been made in the treatment armamentarium for acute lymphoblastic leukemia in recent years, which have substantially improved outcomes for these patients. At the same time, unique toxicities have emerged, and without early intervention, are life-threatening. This article will review the novel therapies in acute leukemias and highlight the clinically relevant supportive care advances. Recent Findings: The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT) has put forth the most recent recommendations in managing the cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity after chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T) and blinatumomab. The hepatic injury incurred by inotuzumab, and the vascular toxicity of tyrosine kinase inhibitors, other relatively novel agents, require subspecialist intervention and multidisciplinary care. Asparaginase, a long-established and key element of pediatric regimens, has made a comeback in the young adult leukemia population. Updated guidelines have been outlined for management of asparaginase thrombotic complications. Lastly, although there have been few changes in the applications of growth factor, antimicrobial prophylaxis, and management of neuropathy, these encompass exceedingly important aspects of care. Summary: While the rapidly changing treatment paradigms for acute lymphoblastic leukemia have transformed leukemia-specific outcomes, treatment emergent toxicities have forced much necessary attention to better definitions of these toxicities and on improving supportive care guidelines in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-293
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Hematologic Malignancy Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Asparaginase
  • Blinatumomab
  • CAR-T
  • Inotuzumab
  • Supportive care
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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