- Even when patients have their CLL knocked back to where it is no longer detectable (U-MRD or undetectable minimal residual disease), the immune system is still impaired.
- Though CLL is a cancer of the B lymphocytes, CLL patients also have impaired function of their T lymphocytes, increasing their immunity issues.
- While only 5% of CLL patients have a deletion of the short arm of the 17thchromosome (17p deletion) at the time of diagnosis, 30%-50% do when they relapse, especially after chemo-immunotherapy (CIT). That is why it is so important to retest your FISH before any treatment.
Dr. Brian Koffman, a well-known doctor, educator, and clinical professor turned patient has dedicated himself to teaching and helping the CLL community since his diagnosis in 2005. He serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of the CLL Society Inc.
Originally published in The CLL Tribune Q1 2019.