What do the different risk levels mean?

Each patient is assessed at diagnosis according to a number of different criteria. This assessment places the patient into one of several risk groups that determine the exact treatment protocol, and which also gives deeper insight into a prognosis for long-term survival and recovery.

Leukemia treatment protocols are designed to induce remission quickly, and then to keep the patient in remission, so the use of the word “risk” refers to the risk of the patient relapsing (exiting remission). For higher risk groups, the treatment becomes more intense to help ensure the patient remains in remission.

During treatment, a patient may be moved to a higher risk group (for instance, from Standard Risk to High Risk), but generally not to a lower risk group.

There are seven main factors that can influence the risk group assignment, including:

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