Prognostic factors in chronic lymphocytic leukemia-what do we need to know?

Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2011 Jan;8(1):38-47. doi: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2010.167. Epub 2010 Oct 19.


Of all leukemias, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) shows the highest variability in its clinical presentation and course. CLL can present as an aggressive and life threatening leukemia or as an indolent form that will not require treatment over decades. The currently available clinical staging systems for CLL are simple and inexpensive but lack accuracy to predict disease progression and survival on an individual basis. The increased understanding of the key events of molecular pathogenesis has provided a plethora of novel molecular and biological factors that correlate with the outcome of CLL. This Review provides a concise discussion of the most important discoveries and gives guidance on how to implement novel prognostic tools in the clinical management of CLL by applying the criteria of evidence, relevance, and simplicity to the selection of prognostic markers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / diagnosis
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / genetics*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / therapy
  • Prognosis


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor