June 6, 2016

Ten Facts You Should Know About the Most Common Adult Leukemia

This week, AbbVie joins the oncology community at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting to take a closer look at chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). 
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This week, AbbVie joins the oncology community at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting to take a closer look at managing and understanding chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

CLL is a slow-growing type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.1 These cells crowd out healthy blood cells and make it difficult for the body to fight infection.2
 
Many people might not be familiar with CLL, despite it being the most common adult leukemia. Discover more about this disease with these 10 helpful facts:
 
  1. The prevalence of CLL is approximately 115,000 patients in the United States,3 with about 15,000 newly diagnosed patients every year.4
     
  2. CLL is predominately a disease of the elderly, with a median age of 71 at diagnosis.4
     
  3. CLL is more prevalent in men than women.1,5,6
     
  4. CLL is the most common type of leukemia found in adults.1,5,6
     
  5. Usually CLL does not cause any symptoms. However, possible signs of CLL may include night sweats, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, pain or ‘fullness’ in the stomach, excessive bruising, fatigue, higher risk of infections, among others.7
     
  6. The exact cause of CLL is not known.8
     
  7. Several tests may be used to help diagnose CLL, including a physical exam, genetic tests, imaging tests (i.e., X-rays or CT scans), biopsy or blood tests.9
     
  8. About 80 percent of people with CLL have some form of abnormality in their white blood cells.10,11
     
  9. People with CLL commonly receive multiple treatments over the course of their disease, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, biologic therapy, stem cell transplant therapy, immunomodulating agents and other oral oncology agents.12,13,14,15
     
  10. Treatments have improved in recent years, but CLL can still be a challenging disease to treat.12-15
For questions or more information about CLL, please speak to your health care professional.


1. American Cancer Society. Leukemia – Chronic Lymphocytic. Available from: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003111-pdf.pdf. Accessed May 2016.
2. American Cancer Society. Detailed guide: what is chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
http://www.cancer.org/cancer/leukemia-chroniclymphocyticcll/detailedguide/leukemia-chronic-lymphocytic-what-is-cll. Accessed October 2015.
3. IMS Database [Data on File]
4. American Cancer Society. What are the key statistics for chronic lymphocytic leukemia? Available from: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/leukemia chroniclymphocyticcll/detailedguide/leukemia-chronic-lymphocytic-key-statistics. Accessed May 2016.
5. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Cancer Treatment and Survivorship Statistics, 2012. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21149/pdf. Accessed October 2015.
6. National Cancer Institute. “Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment (PDQ®).”
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/CLL/healthprofessional/page1. Accessed October 2015.
7. American Cancer Society. Detailed guide: CLL Signs and Symptoms.
http://www.cancer.org/cancer/leukemia-chroniclymphocyticcll/detailedguide/leukemia--chronic-lymphocytic-signs-symptoms. Accessed October 2015.
8. American Cancer Society. Detailed guide: what is chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
http://www.cancer.org/cancer/leukemia-chroniclymphocyticcll/detailedguide/leukemia-chronic-lymphocytic-what-is-cll. Accessed October 2015.
9. American Cancer Society. Detailed guide: CLL diagnosis. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/leukemia-chroniclymphocyticcll/detailedguide/leukemia-chronic-lymphocytic-diagnosis. Accessed October 2015.
10. Stilgenbauer S, Bullinger L, Lichter P,et al. Genetics of chronic lymphocytic leukemia: genomic aberrations and VH gene mutation status in pathogenesis and clinical course. Leukemia. 2002;16:993-1007.
11. Döhner H, Stilgenbauer S, Benner A,et al Genomic aberrations and survival in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. N Engl J Med. 2000;343:1910-1916.
12. American Cancer Society. Chemo – What it is, How it Helps. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003321-pdf.pdf. Accessed October 2015.
13. American Cancer Society. Radiation Therapy – What it is, How it Helps. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003299-pdf.pdf. Accessed October 2015.
14. National Cancer Institute. Biological Therapy. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/biological. Accessed October 2015.
15. American Cancer Society. Stem cell transplant. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/bonemarrowandperipheralbloodstemcelltransplant/stem-cell-transplant-types-of-transplant. Accessed October 2015.