CLL stands for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Part of the cell's instructions (found in the B-cell's chromosomes) are deleted or changed, which may cause the cell to be unable to work well and avoid cell death. This allows the ineffective cell to keep multiplying. In most CLL cases, the replication of the mutated B-cell happens slowly.
Reasons the B-cell's chromosome instructions may become damaged to turn into CLL are believed to be from either a virus (and the body's immune system was too weak to destroy the virus-infected B-cell allowing it to multiply), from high and chronic amounts of oxidative stress, or the patient may have inherited damaged DNA. To see current, non-chemo treatment options that help limit the progression of CLL cells see here - Non-chemo Treatment Options for CLL Patients.
CLL cells are located mainly in the bone marrow and bloodstream. Some CLL cells may also be located in the lymph system.
Each CLL case varies person to person which influences how treatment is handled. Differences among patients can include:
To ensure patients are getting the best treatment for their individual situations, they should create a care plan with a CLL specialist. Need help finding a specialist? Check out HealthTree’s CLL Specialist Directory.