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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 84-89

Overview of recent developments in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

1 CLL Research and Treatment Program, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, USA
2 Department of Medicine, Long Island Jewish Medical Center New Hyde Park and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Hempstead, NY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Kanti R Rai
Department of Medicine, Long Island Jewish Medical Center New Hyde Park and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Hempstead, NY
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-330X.103721

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Multiple advances have been made in our understanding of pathobiology of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). These developments in the laboratory include new prognostic markers, risk stratification of the disease and newer therapeutic agents in CLL. These advances in CLL have come a long way in the past three decades since the development of Rai and Binet clinical staging systems. Important strides in the pathobiology, from defining mutational status of IGHV, to B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathways and CLL microenvironment have made a major difference in our understanding of this disease. Mutational status of immunoglobulin heavy chain genes (IGHV), CD38 and Zap-70, chromosomal aberrations and newer mutations, are the most clinically relevant prognostic markers. Chemoimmunotherapy (CIT) has become the treatment of choice for young and fit CLL patients. Various inhibitors of BCR signaling pathways and immunomodulatory drugs have shown efficacy in clinical trials. The most recent advance is the use of chimeric antigen receptor therapy (CAR) based on autologous T-lymphocytes. Nevertheless, CLL remains an incurable disease today. Coordinated developments between laboratory and clinic will hopefully translate into a cure for CLL. This short review focuses on advances in prognostication and therapy in CLL.

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