New Strategy to Classify Differences in Risk for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

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Researchers from Uppsata University have discovered an association between molecular features of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and a patient’s prognosis, which will assist physicians with determining the best possible therapeutic and follow-up strategies for each patient.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is known for being an incurable tumor disease that progresses differently in different types of patients. Where some patients require therapy shortly after their diagnosis, others live for a substantial period of time without any necessary treatment. By being able to identify the prognosis of each patient early on, oncology clinicians will have a much better chance at administrating the appropriate treatment to each patient with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The study, recently published in the journal Lancet Haematology, includes samples from more than 8,500 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The patient samples were then classified into subgroups for analysis based on B-cell reception expression in the while blood cells that grow at an uncontrolled rate in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

While researchers studies the course of the disease within these subsets they determined that there was a clear correction between aggressive and indolent disease courses. By identifying patients who have the lowest likelihood to need treatment, clinicians have the opportunity to bring a great deal of medical and psychosocial benefit to their patients.

Review of Consensus Recommendations on Plasma Cell Leukemia
Association between molecular features of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and a patient’s prognosis.

If chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with a good or poor prognosis could be identified already at the time of diagnosis, physicians would have better possibilities to adjust their therapeutic and follow-up strategies. Now researchers at Uppsala University, together with international colleagues, have discovered a new correlation between specific molecular features of the disease and subgroups of patients with different prognosis.

The results have been published in the journal Lancet Haematology. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is an incurable tumour disease that can progress very differently in different patients. Some patients require therapy relatively soon after diagnosis whereas others can live for a long time with their disease, even without treatment.

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