In the last decade, the management of chronic lymphocytic leukemia has undergone profound changes that have been driven by an improved understanding of the biology of the disease and the approval of several new drugs. Moreover, many novel drugs are currently under evaluation for rapid approval or have been approved by regulatory agencies, further broadening the available therapeutic armamentarium for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The use of novel biological and genetic parameters combined with a careful clinical evaluation allows us to dissect some of the heterogeneity of the disease and to distinguish patients with a very mild onset and course, who often will not need any treatment, from those with an intermediate prognosis and a third group with a very aggressive course (high-risk leukemia). On this background, it becomes increasingly challenging to select the right treatment strategy. In this paper, we describe our own approach to the management of different patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
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