Common symptoms of HCL includes persistently feeling tired, weakness, weight loss for no reason, shortness of breath, excessive sweating (most often at night), swollen lymph nodes, frequent infections and fevers, small red spots on the skin. The main treatment for hairy cell leukemia is chemotherapy, purine analog drugs either cladribine (2-CdA) or pentostatin, monoclonal antibody rituximab, surgery or interferon alpha.
Hairy cell leukemia is relatively uncommon and accounts for 2% of all leukemia cases, which is about 600-800 new patients diagnosed each year. Complete and partial remissions were achieved in 56% and 28% of the patients, respectively. Mortality rate was reported in 3% of the diseased patients for past 3 years.