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Glossary Results

Relapsed CLL

CLL that responded to treatment but then returns.

Refractory CLL

CLL that has not responded to initial treatment. Refractory disease may be disease that is getting worse or staying the same (stable disease).

CD38

An antigen on CLL cells and other cells. The expression of CD38 may be a marker to assist in predicting CLL progression.

Richter transformation

In a small number of patients, there is a progression in their disease. In these patients, CLL takes on the characteristics of an aggressive lymphoma. This change is not a second cancer, but a transformation of the CLL cells.

Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)

A disease with symptoms and treatment that are much like CLL. SLL starts in a lymphocyte in a lymph node. CLL starts in a lymphocyte in the marrow.

Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain Variable Region (IgHv) Gene Status

A marker that can distinguish between CLL subtypes (unmutated IgHv and mutated IgHv). People with CLL with unmutated IgHv gene status may have a more progressive form of the disease.

Zap-70

An abbreviation for the cell protein “zeta-associated protein 70.” A high level of ZAP-70 expression on the cells of patients with B-cell CLL is one of several factors that may predict more progressive disease. Outside of a research laboratory this test is generally not very reliable and should not be used.

Disease Complications

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) may cause complications such as those outlined below.   Infection Infection is a common complication for people with CLL. Because of the high risk of infections, immediate vaccination for pneumococcal pneumonia with Prevnar 13® and a yearly flu vaccine is recommended. CLL patients do not respond well to vaccines due to their immune system depression. CLL patients should never receive live vaccines (such as the shingles vaccine). ...

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Diagnosis

Diagnosing chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) usually involves a simple blood test. However, your doctor may want to also perform a bone marrow test before treatment to establish a baseline to measure your treatment response against.   Blood Tests After your doctor or clinician takes your blood, he or she sends it to a lab for a complete blood count (CBC), which shows the number of red cells, white cells and platelets in your blood. If you have CLL, you may have lower-than-nor ...

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Treatment

It's important that your doctor is experienced in treating patients with chronic leukemia or works in consultation with a chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) specialist. This type of specialist is called a hematologist oncologist.   Types of CLL Treatment Current therapies do not offer patients a cure for CLL, but there are treatments that help manage the disease. Doctors use several types of approaches and treatment for adults with CLL, some at different stages: Watch an ...

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Radiation Therapy

Radiation is sometimes used to shrink large lymph node masses or masses in locations that interfere with the function of a neighboring body part, such as the kidney, the gastrointestinal tract or the throat. This treatment is rarely used in CLL.   Though not used often to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), radiation therapy is sometimes used to relieve pain caused by an enlarged lymph node, spleen or other organ. The enlarged masses can affect the functions of nearby organs, ...

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Splenectomy

A splenectomy is the procedure done to remove the spleen. When your spleen becomes enlarged because of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), not only can it cause discomfort, but it can sometimes lower your blood cells to dangerous levels. Your spleen is an organ located in the upper left portion of your abdomen. It contains groups of lymph nodes, and its main function is to filter old and worn-out cells from the blood. If your spleen is removed, other organs like the lymph nodes and the l ...

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Glossary Results

Relapsed CLL

CLL that responded to treatment but then returns.

Refractory CLL

CLL that has not responded to initial treatment. Refractory disease may be disease that is getting worse or staying the same (stable disease).

CD38

An antigen on CLL cells and other cells. The expression of CD38 may be a marker to assist in predicting CLL progression.

Richter transformation

In a small number of patients, there is a progression in their disease. In these patients, CLL takes on the characteristics of an aggressive lymphoma. This change is not a second cancer, but a transformation of the CLL cells.

Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)

A disease with symptoms and treatment that are much like CLL. SLL starts in a lymphocyte in a lymph node. CLL starts in a lymphocyte in the marrow.

Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain Variable Region (IgHv) Gene Status

A marker that can distinguish between CLL subtypes (unmutated IgHv and mutated IgHv). People with CLL with unmutated IgHv gene status may have a more progressive form of the disease.

Zap-70

An abbreviation for the cell protein “zeta-associated protein 70.” A high level of ZAP-70 expression on the cells of patients with B-cell CLL is one of several factors that may predict more progressive disease. Outside of a research laboratory this test is generally not very reliable and should not be used.