New classification improves risk prediction in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Published: 2014-11-03


If chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with a good or poor prognosis could be identified already at the time of diagnosis, physicians would have better possibilities to adjust their therapeutic and follow-up strategies. Now researchers at SciLifeLab, together with international colleagues, have discovered a new correlation between specific molecular features of the disease and subgroups of patients with different prognosis.

 

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is an incurable tumour disease that can progress very differently in different patients. Some patients require therapy relatively soon after diagnosis whereas others can live for a long time with their disease, even without treatment. Thus, it is important to identify features of the disease that can be associated with a better or poorer prognosis. Ideally, these features would be present at diagnosis and remain stable throughout the evolution of the disease.

In the present study, researchers from SciLifeLab have collaborated with international research groups and analysed samples from more than 8,500 CLL patients. These were classified into subsets based on the expression of very similar B-cell receptors in the white blood cells that grow uncontrolled in CLL. When they studied the disease course for patients in the different subsets they found a clear correlation.

The results have been published in the journal Lancet Haematology.

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