The molecular basis of many leukaemias is now known, allowing precise diagnosis. Treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia is now possible by targeting of the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase. The underlying molecular abnormalities in acute leukaemias allow the outlook for individual patients to be assessed at diagnosis and therapy tailored accordingly. Analysis of V(H) genes in B-cell malignant disorders allows these to be placed in the hierarchy of B-cell development and may provide prognostically valuable information.
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