Novel insights into the biology of CLL.
Significant advancements in the care of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have occurred over the past decade. Nonetheless, CLL remains incurable outside of allogeneic transplantation. CLL is the most common leukemia in the United States and Europe, and new treatments and therapeutic strategies are clearly needed. To address this need, the pathogenesis of CLL has been an area of intense ongoing investigation. These international efforts illuminate a complex biology that is reliant on the interplay of inherited, environmental, and host factors. This broad review will discuss the recent advances in our understanding of CLL biology including the elucidation of inherited and acquired genetic changes; the role of the B-cell receptor and B-cell receptor signaling; CLL cell kinetics; and the interactions in the microenvironment between CLL cells, other immune cells, and stromal elements. This improved understanding of disease pathogenesis is facilitating the development of novel therapeutic treatment strategies.
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