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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.

Relapsed and Refractory

Some patients still have leukemia cells in their bone marrow after CLL treatment. This is called refractory leukemia. Some patients have a return of CLL cells in the marrow and a decrease in normal blood cells after remission. This is called a relapse. The following are treatments for patients with refractory and relapsed CLL. For more information, access the free booklet, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Ibrutinib (ImbruvicaTM) Idelalisib (Zydelig®) Ofatumumab (Ar ...

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Watch and Wait

People with CLL who have minimal changes in their blood counts and no symptoms are usually managed with the watch-and-wait approach. This includes Regular medical examinations Regular testing to determine whether the disease is stable or beginning to progress. People are often concerned when they receive a diagnosis of CLL and then learn that they will not begin treatment right away. When there are minimal changes to a person’s blood counts and no symptoms, the watch-and-wait ...

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Clinical Trials

Taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice for some chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. Clinical trials are under way to improve remission rates for CLL. Today's standard treatments for cancer are based on earlier clinical trials. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society continues to invest funds in CLL research. Click here to read more about clinical trials.   Current CLL Research and Clinical Trials Below are some of the types of resear ...

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Chemotherapy and Drug Therapy

Chemotherapy Chemotherapy drugs are designed to kill cancer cells. They work by attacking cells that divide quickly. Chemotherapy is typically given in cycles, with each period of treatment followed by a rest period.  Standard chemotherapy drugs that doctors use to treat CLL as a single agent or in combination include: Antimetabolites Cladribine (Leustatin®) Fludarabine (Fludara®) Pentostatin (Nipent®) Alkylating agents Bendamustine hydrochloride (Bende ...

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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.