Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia in adults. This disease begins in the cells of the bone marrow. An excessive number of abnormal immature blood cells, the precursors of lymphocytes, are produced. Let’s talk about Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Current Therapies.
What is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
In chronic leukemia, the lymphocyte cells mature only partially and may resemble normal white blood cells. The problem is that they don’t perform their function and don’t fight infection like normal white blood cells. Such cells (atypical B-lymphocytes) gradually accumulate in the bone marrow. They interfere with the production and function of normal blood cells. At some point atypical B-lymphocytes leave the bone marrow, their number in the blood increases, and they may enter other organs – liver, spleen, lymph nodes, causing specific symptoms. Such B-lymphocytes reproduce uncontrollably and live too long.
Most often, the number of leukemia cells increases slowly, and people may not notice any manifestations of the disease for several years. Please note: CLL is not one disease, but a group of lymphoid tumors that present a different clinical picture. Contact a clinic for an accurate diagnosis and treatment that will be most effective for your type of disease.
Treatment modalities for CLL
A consilium of specialists determines treatment tactics for each patient. This makes it possible to take into account all the nuances of the disease and prescribe the most effective treatment, taking into account the patient’s age, general state of health, and stage of the disease. Prescribing treatment, doctors are guided by recommendations of international medical protocols (NCCN, ANA, ENA, ESMO, etc.). Typically, chronic lymph leukemia develops slowly, and many patients do not need any treatment for months or even years. Treatment begins when clinical symptoms or tests of the patient’s blood show that the disease has reached a stage that can affect the patient’s quality of life.
The main method of treatment for patients diagnosed with chronic lymph leukemia is chemotherapy. The protocol depends on the characteristics of the specific disease. Targeted drugs or monoclonal antibodies may also be prescribed.
The possibilities of this method are limited because of the systemic nature of the disease. However, in some cases, irradiation of enlarged lymph nodes and the spleen is prescribed in order to reduce them. Radiation may also be prescribed for pain caused by bone lesions. Treatment of chronic lymph leukemia allows most patients to achieve long-term remission.