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Med Oncol. 1998 Dec;15(4):234-40.

Apoptosis in B-chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

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  • 1Hematology Department, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


B-chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL) is characterised by the progressive accumulation of monoclonal B cells, which may be the result of several factors leading to extended B-CLL cell lifespan, increased proliferative capacity and diminished cell death. Here we review the implications of several signals mediated by receptors, such as surface IgM, CD6 and CD40, for the B-CLL cell survival, together with data on gene modulation in relation to the apoptosis process in B-CLL cells. We also describe some features of the Fas/FasL system in B-CLL that hypothetically might contribute to the accumulation of leukaemic cells and the progression of the disease, by downregulating the apoptotic response or avoiding the autologous immune response.

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