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Cancer Control. 2012 Jan;19(1):18-25.

Clinical and laboratory prognostic indicators in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Hematopathology and Laboratory Medicine, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.



The clinical course of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is heterogeneous, with some patients experiencing rapid disease progression and others living for decades without requiring treatment. The Rai and Binet clinical staging systems are used to define disease extent and predict survival. The pathology laboratory also provides important prognostic information.


A review of the literature was performed on the subject of staging in CLL from clinical and pathologic standpoints. This article also reviews currently available diagnostic approaches related to disease prognosis and to timing of treatment and follow-up in patients with CLL.


Novel biological and cytogenetic features such as immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable gene segment [IgVH], genomic aberrations including del(17p13), del(11q23), del(13q14), and trisomy 12, serum markers (thymidine kinase and beta-2 microglobulin), and cellular markers (CD38 and ZAP70) have become increasingly important in predicting prognosis at the time of diagnosis.


Current prognostic factors directly or indirectly influence the management of patients with CLL and help to predict treatment-free and overall survival.

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