About CLL: A Shareable Guide for Patients, Family and Friends


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About CLL: A Shareable Guide for Patients, Family and Friends


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

  • The bone marrow is where the blood cells are made inside of the bone. It is referred to as chronic because it typically progresses more slowly than other types of leukemia.
  • The term "lymphocytic" in chronic lymphocytic leukemia comes from the cells affected by the disease—a group of white blood cells called lymphocytes, which help your body fight infection. 
  • It rarely is a hereditary condition that affects family members. 
  • Treatments are changing rapidly to allow many patients to live longer fuller lives.  There are also several new medicines and combinations of medicines being studied in clinical trials that some experts say could lead to a cure.


CLL Support

A diagnosis of CLL can be overwhelming for the entire family. Open discussion between family members, health professionals and patients can help ensure the best care. We encourage you to join our community and to check out our brief videos to find the most up-to-date information from leading experts about support, new treatments, clinical trials, communication, financial issues and much more.

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CLL Videos and Transcripts

CLL Defined

Drs. Nicole Lamanna and Michael Keating, along with Andrew Schorr, get back to CLL basics, describing and defining the disease in easy-to-understand terms.


What Are the Symptoms of CLL and How Does It Progress?

What are the symptoms of CLL? When should treatment begin? CLL experts Dr. Zeev Estrov, Dr. Nicole Lamanna and Dr. Michael Keating weigh in.


Why Is Watch and Wait Necessary?

Why is the watch-and-wait period necessary for many people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)? Dr. Javier Munoz explains the reasoning behind this phase, which occurs prior to treatment.


What Progress Has Been Made in Understanding the Biology of CLL?

Andrew Schorr checks in with leading CLL researcher Dr. Kanti Rai after the iwCLL conference to learn about progress in CLL biology and how it could impact treatment options.


How Has the Staging of CLL Changed?

Dr. William Wierda, a world-renowned CLL expert from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, describes the stages of CLL and how the stage of disease can be changed by treatment.


Should CLL Patients Undergo Genetic Testing?

Should CLL patients undergo genetic testing? Dr. Nitin Jain shares his opinion.


What Are CLL Prognostic Factors?

Prognostic factors are characteristics that help to establish a CLL patient's outcome. Dr. William Wierda, a leading CLL expert, explains.


How Do Kinase Inhibitor Therapies Treat CLL?

What is kinase inhibitor therapy? What does this class of drugs “inhibit?” A panel of CLL experts explains.


Understanding Monoclonal Antibodies

What are monoclonal antibodies, and how do they work to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)? Dr. Alessandra Ferrajoli explains.


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Page last updated on June 13, 2019