Introduction

Precursor T-cell and B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoma are malignant diseases of lymphoblasts. Historically, the term lymphoblastic lymphoma (LBL) has been used to describe these diseases when they present with prominent nodal involvement and less clinically apparent involvement of the bone marrow or peripheral blood. LBL has been recognized as a distinct entity in most lymphoma classifications including the Working Formulation and Kiel classifications. However, since it is now clear that precursor LBL and leukemia are identical morphologically, and at the immunophenotypic and genotypic levels, they are recognized as a single entity in the WHO classification of lymphoid malignancies. Despite this, the clinical management of patients with predominantly nodal involvement has developed separately from that for lymphoblastic leukemias, and as a result, the treat ment approach for LBL is different from that previously adopted for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). This is further confounded by the fact that the clinical distinction between LBL and ALL has varied between centers and between publications, making the literature on this subject difficult to interpret.

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