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ERIC 2018: Dr. Kostas Stamatopolous on Immunoglobulin Genes or IgVH Mutation

In science and medicine, information is constantly changing and may become out-of-date as new data emerge. All articles and interviews are informational only, should never be considered medical advice, and should never be acted on without review with your health care team.

In this last of four interviews from Barcelona, 2018 with Dr. Stamatopolous of ERIC, explains the importance of testing of IgVH.


  • Unlike other prognostic and predictive factors, doesn’t change over time.
  • iwCLL guidelines state the IgVH testing must be done before the first treatment.
  • This isn’t just interesting or desirable, it is critical.
  • It does not need to be repeated as it very rarely, if ever, changes.
  • The first treatment for our CLL can have a significant long-term domino effect on our CLL management, so it is critical to have the correct lab testing to inform this decision.
  • Sadly, there is much evidence that this is not happening:
    • Mato’s ConnectCLL data presented at ASH 2018 showed only 6% of patients had igVH testing before their first treatment.
  • Until recently, the test was difficult to reliably perform. But now it is easier to do and ERIC has set up standards for this test and TP53 testing.

Here is a fun and helpful explanation of igVH and why it is important by our laboratory scientist, Dr. Susan LeClair.

Just to confuse things, you will see this testing referred to igVH and IgHV- there is no difference.

Here is my overview of the basics of what testing is needed before treatment.

Please enjoy my brief interview with Dr. Kostas Stamatopolous, one of the CLL community’s strongest allies.

Stay strong. We are all in this together.

Brian Koffman MDCM (retired)