What Is the Long-Term Prognosis for Patients With CLL?


Quick Answer

The mean five-year survival rate for patients with chronic lymphocytie leukemia is 60.2 percent, and the 10-year survival rate is 34.8 percent as of January 2015, reports Healthline. These figures include both kinds of CLL, although people with the slower-growing type tend to live longer than people with the faster-growing type.

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Full Answer

CLL develops when the body makes too many abnormal lymphocytes, a form of white blood cells, according to Healthline. Leukemia cells spread from the bone marrow throughout the body via the bloodstream. Most patients are older adults, and those who develop the slower-growing form might not need treatment for years. Fast-growing CLL requires much more aggressive treatment.

An important part of a CLL prognosis involves the current staging of the disease, as stated by Healthline. In the United States, the Rai staging system is most commonly used. It looks at the enlargement of the liver, spleen and lymph nodes as well as platelet and red blood cell levels to determine the patient's present stage.

Several factors lead to a poorer prognosis on an individual basis, including advanced age, elevated levels of beta-2-microglobulin in the patient's bloodstream, and missing parts of chromosome 11 or 17 within the leukemia cells, states Healthline. People in whom leukemia cells have replaced healthy cells across a diffuse region of bone marrow also face a more grim prognosis.

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