Major recent advances in understanding the biology of chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL) have improved clinical evaluation and influenced treatment decisions. CLL can be diagnosed early and accurately, and biological measurements can be used to predict a prognosis at diagnosis. Individual patient care can be risk stratified to optimize benefit and minimize complications of therapy. Purine analogs and monoclonal antibodies have markedly improved the efficacy of initial therapy but are not curative. The treatment of relapsed and refractory CLL is less successful. However, recent developments suggest that allogeneic stem cell transplant could have a larger role in a selected group of these patients. Potential new treatment modalities include targeted molecules that interrupt key components of CLL cell survival pathways, and active and passive immunotherapy. The management of CLL is in a dynamic phase of rapid evolution. Risk stratification using biological prognostic markers can improve current patient care and direct future clinical research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research