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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.

Related Diseases

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) shares some similar features and symptoms with other closely related types of leukemia. They all have one thing in common: They begin in a lymphocyte that becomes cancerous and accumulates in the blood, bone marrow or spleen. There are distinguishing characteristics that enable the hematologist/oncologist to identify each disease, including the appearance and the immunophenotype of the cancer cells; the cells’ varying effects on normal marrow and bl ...

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Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. It is typically not part of standard CLL treatment but it is sometimes used to shrink an enlarged spleen, 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. It can also be helpful in treating pain from bone damage caused by leukemia growing in the marrow. This type of therapy is rarely used in CLL.

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Signs and Symptoms

Many people are diagnosed with CLL even though they do not have any symptoms. The disease may be suspected because of abnormal results from blood tests that were ordered either as part of an annual physical or a medical examination for an unrelated condition. An unexplained elevated white blood cell (lymphocyte) count is the most common finding that leads a doctor to consider a CLL diagnosis. Generally, CLL symptoms develop over time. As the disease progresses, a person may experience ...

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Treatment Outcomes

Treatment outcomes for people with CLL vary widely, and expected outcomes are influenced by the Stage of the disease Presence or lack of various factors associated with higher-risk disease Overall health of the patient Other considerations. Current research suggests that newer treatment combinations and approaches may improve the length of survival. People with CLL should consult with their doctors to discuss individual potential outcomes. For survival statistics, clic ...

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Diagnosis

An accurate diagnosis of the type of leukemia is important. The exact diagnosis helps the doctor to Estimate how the disease will progress Determine the appropriate treatment
  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.  A person with CLL will have increased numbers of lymphocytes. Low platelet c ...

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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.