Current strategies for the diagnosis and management of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), with a focus on poor-risk CLL: A review

Article English OPEN
Fabienne Mc Clanahan ; Peter Dreger (2011)
  • Publisher: Galenos Yayinevi
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Hematology (issn: 1300-7777, eissn: 1308-5263)
  • Subject: treatment | CLL | genetics | allogeneic stem cell transplantation | poor-risk | Diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs | Internal medicine | RC31-1245 | RC633-647.5
    mesheuropmc: hemic and lymphatic diseases

Despite substantial advancement in the understanding and treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a standard curative approach does not exist. The choice of treatment is generally based on the existence of biological and genetic factors associated with the prediction of prognosis, individual response to therapy, and duration of remission. About 20% of patients that require treatment have an aggressive disease course and die within a few years, despite early initiation of intensive therapy (poor-risk CLL). Poor-risk CLL can be predicted by the presence of genomic markers, and the quality and duration of response to purine-analogue-based treatment. Within this patient subgroup alternative treatment approaches such as alemtuzumab or new substances such as flavopiridol or IMiDs® should be considered. To date, the only treatment bearing curative potential is allogeneic stem cell transplantation; in contrast to conventional immunochemotherapy, it can provide long-term disease control, even in patients with del 17p or other unfavorable biological and clinical risk factors. The aim of this review was to outline the current strategies for the diagnosis and management of CLL, with a focus on high-risk CLL.
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