Chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Neil E. Kay, Terry J. Hamblin, Diane F. Jelinek, Gordon W. Dewald, John C. Byrd, Sherif Farag, Margaret Lucas, Thomas Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


This update of early stage B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) embraces current information on the diagnosis, biology, and intervention required to more fully develop algorithms for management of this disease. Emphasis on early stage is based on the rapid advancement in our understanding of the disease parameters and our increasing ability to predict for a given early stage patient whether there is a need for more aggressive management. In Section I, Dr. Terry Hamblin addresses the nature of the disease, accurate diagnostic procedures, evidence for an early "preclinical" phase, the use of newer prognostic features to distinguish who will be likely to progress or not, and whether it is best to watch or treat early stage disease. In Section II, Dr. Neil Kay and colleagues address the biologic aspects of the disease and how they may relate to disease progression. Review of the newer insights into gene expression, recurring genetic defects, role of cytokines/autocrine pathways, and the interaction of the CLL B cell with the microenvironment are emphasized. The relationship of these events to both trigger disease progression and as opportunities for future therapeutic intervention even in early stage disease is also considered. In Section III, Dr. John Byrd and colleagues review the historical and now current approaches to management of the previously untreated progressive B-CLL patient. They discuss what decision tree could be used in the initial decision to treat a given patient. The use of single agents versus newer combination approaches such as chemoimmunotherapy are discussed here. In addition, the place of marrow transplant and some of the newer antibodies available for treatment of B-CLL are considered. Finally, a challenge to utilize our growing knowledge of the biology of B-CLL in the early stage B-CLL is proffered.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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