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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Recommendations for Diagnosis, Staging, and Response Criteria

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Grant Support: Partial support by the Hyland Division of Baxter Healthcare, Inc., Glendale, California; Bristol-Myers, S.A.E., Madrid, Spain; and Funk, S.A., Barcelona, Spain.

Requests for Reprints: Emilio Montserrat, MD, Postgraduate School of Hematology, Hospital Clinic, Villarroel 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain; or Robert P. Gale, MD, Division of Hematology-Oncology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 80024.

© 1989 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1989;110(3):236-238. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-110-3-236
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Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is one of the commonest leukemias in humans. Recently, considerable progress has been made in our understanding of its biology and treatment. These advances require a careful re-evaluation of the disease's diagnostic criteria, staging, and response criteria. This paper updates our recommendations reported in 1981 (1). The issues addressed in this paper have recently been discussed in detail (2-4).

Definition and Diagnosis: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia results from a neoplastic proliferation of lymphocytes and almost always involves a clonal expansion of B lymphocytes. Hallmarks of the disease include an absolute and sustained increase in the number of predominantly


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