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 20173
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.9
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.9
PERSISTENT WEAKNESS AND TIREDNESS
SWOLLEN LYMPH NODES OR ENLARGED SPLEEN
CLL is incurable.8
Although signs of CLL may disappear for a while after initial treatment, many people require additional treatment due to the return of cancerous cells.9
BONE MARROW OR STEM CELL TRANSPLANT
OTHER TARGETED AGENTS
1 National Cancer Institute. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment (PDQ®). http://www.cancer.gov/types/leukemia/patient/cll-treatment-pdq. Accessed July 28, 2017.
2 Byrd J. Introduction to a Series of Reviews on Chronic Lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Blood. June 11, 2015. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2015-06-639161.
3 National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/clyl.html. Accessed July 28, 2017.
4 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.
5 Döhner H, Stilgenbauer S, Benner A, et al. Genomic Aberrations and Survival in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. N Engl J Med. December 8, 2000. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM200012283432602.
6 ros 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.
7 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.
8 Dighiero G and Hamblin T. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. The Lancet. 2008; 371:1017-1029.
9 National Cancer Institute. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment – for health professionals (PDQ®). http://www.cancer.gov/types/leukemia/hp/cll-treatment-pdq. Accessed July 28, 2017.