Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk. By contrast, basic science research studies the disease process at a distance, such as seeing whether a suspected carcinogen can cause leukemic changes in isolated cells in the laboratory or how the DNA changes inside leukemia cells as the disease progresses. Monocytic and granulocytic differentiation. Petechiae flat, pinpoint spots under the skin, caused by bleeding. If left untreated, the cells may eventually grow to high numbers, as in acute leukemias causing similar symptoms.