The Changing Therapeutic Landscape of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

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The Changing Therapeutic Landscape of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is characterized by slow accumulation of mature but functionally incompetent lymphocytes which are monoclonal in origin. The disease course is highly variable-- with some patients having long survival times and never requiring treatment and others who live only for a few years even with treatment. In the past, the treatment of CLL consisted of chemoimmunotherapy, usually with FCR (fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab), PCR (pentostatin, cyclophosphamide, rituximab) or BR (bendamustine and rituximab). Not all patients with CLL will require treatment. Considering the adverse effects of traditional chemotherapy, only patients with disabling symptoms or cytopenias proven to be secondary to CLL (not autoimmune related) are usually treated. A high white cell count or disfiguring lymphadenopathy are not indications for more


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