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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.

Chemotherapy and Drug Therapy

People who have symptomatic intermediate- and high-risk (faster-growing) chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are usually treated with chemotherapy and/or targeted drug therapy using monoclonal antibodies. Combining chemotherapy drugs with monoclonal antibodies is another effective way to treat CLL. You may be given the drugs as pills to swallow, by injection or through a catheter (a thin, flexible tube or intravenous line) surgically placed in a vein, normally in your upper chest. ...

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Supportive Care

You may receive supportive care to prevent or treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) symptoms and therapy side effects. Common methods of supportive care for CLL include taking antibiotics and receiving blood cell growth factors.   Antibiotics Your doctor may give you antibiotics to treat infections caused by bacteria or fungi. As a CLL patient, you're at risk for getting infections. Both the disease and treatment lower the number of infection-fighting white cells in the blo ...

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Watch and Wait

Some people can manage their chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with their doctors for years with observation (watch-and-wait). By using the watch-and-wait method, your doctor can monitor your condition with regular physical exams and lab tests. You won't take any drugs or undergo any CLL treatment during this period. This approach includes Medical examinations Periodic testing to determine whether the disease is stable or beginning to progress Counseling by their doctors to seek ...

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Follow-Up Care

Click here for information about follow-up care, including what to expect, long-term and late effects of treatment, survivorship clinics, and other resources such as The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) treatment guidelines.

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Side Effects

Therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) sometimes produces side effects. Side effects from monoclonal antibody therapy are generally milder than side effects from chemotherapy. For most patients, treatment side effects are temporary and go away once therapy ends. For other patients, side effects can be more severe, sometimes requiring hospitalization. Some patients never have side effects. Before you undergo treatment, talk with your doctor about potential side effects. Drugs a ...

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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.