Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL, is a slow-growing cancer in the blood and bone marrow.1 It is the most common type of adult leukemia in the U.S.2
ESTIMATED NEW CASES OF CLL IN THE U.S. IN 20213
CLL is generally a disease that affects older adults.3
AVERAGE AGE AT DIAGNOSIS3
MAY HAVE OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS AT DIAGNOSIS4
In people with CLL, the leukemia starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes.1
These CLL cells multiply uncontrollably, eventually crowding out normal cells in the bone marrow and in the bloodstream.1
Sometimes, genetic changes are present in CLL cells that can make the disease more difficult to treat. Common types of genetic changes associated with poor outcomes in people with CLL include:5
Signs and symptoms of CLL vary and may take years to appear.1
Physicians may recommend a “watch and wait” or observational approach until disease progression for some people with CLL who do not show any symptoms.8
Symptoms of CLL may be seen in other conditions as well. Only a doctor will be able to tell if the symptoms are related to CLL.8
PERSISTENT WEAKNESS AND TIREDNESS
SWOLLEN LYMPH NODES OR ENLARGED SPLEEN
CLL is incurable.7
Although signs of CLL may disappear for a while after initial treatment, many people require additional treatment due to the return of cancerous cells.8
BONE MARROW OR STEM CELL TRANSPLANT
OTHER TARGETED AGENTS
Targeted fixed-duration regimens are an option for people with CLL.9
Some treatment options are taken continuously until the medicine stops working, or certain side effects are observed.9
Other treatment options are fixed-duration, meaning that after a specified amount of time patients can stop taking the medicine and still experience clinical benefit.9
- National Cancer Institute. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment (PDQ®). http://www.cancer.gov/types/leukemia/patient/cll-treatment-pdq. Accessed March 29, 2019.
- Byrd J. Introduction to a Series of Reviews on Chronic Lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Blood. June 11, 2015. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2015-06-639161.
- American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/chronic-lymphocytic-leukemia/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed June 1, 2021.
- Thurmes P, Call T, Slager S, et al. Comorbid conditions and survival in unselected, newly diagnosed patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Leuk Lymphoma. Jan 2008;49(1):49-56.
- Puiggros A, Blanco G, Espinet B. Genetic Abnormalities in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Where We Are and Where We Go. BioMed Res Int. 2014. DOI: 10.1155/2014/435983.
- Strati P, Keating MJ, O’Brian SM, et al. Outcomes of first-line treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia with 17p deletion. Haematologica. Aug 2014;99(8):1350-5. DOI: 10.3324/haematol.2014.104661.
- Dighiero G and Hamblin T. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. The Lancet. 2008; 371:1017-1029.
- National Cancer Institute. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment – for health professionals (PDQ®). http://www.cancer.gov/types/leukemia/hp/cll-treatment-pdq. Accessed March 29, 2019.
- Cuneo A and Foa R. Relapsed/Refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia: chemoimmunotherapy, treatment until progression with mechanism driven agents or finite-duration therapy? Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Disease. Feb 2019;11(1): e2019024