Medicine » Oncology

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Edited by Pablo Oppezzo, ISBN 978-953-307-881-6, 462 pages, Publisher: InTech, Chapters published February 10, 2012 under CC BY 3.0 license
DOI: 10.5772/1156
Edited Volume

B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is considered a single disease with extremely variable course, and survival rates ranging from months to decades. It is clear that clinical heterogeneity reflects biologic diversity with at least two major subtypes in terms of cellular proliferation, clinical aggressiveness and prognosis. As CLL progresses, abnormal hematopoiesis results in pancitopenia and decreased immunoglobulin production, followed by nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue or malaise. A cure is usually not possible, and delayed treatment (until symptoms develop) is aimed at lengthening life and decreasing symptoms. Researchers are playing a lead role in investigating CLL's cause and the role of genetics in the pathogenesis of this disorder. Research programs are dedicated towards understanding the basic mechanisms underlying CLL with the hope of improving treatment options.