Current Oncology Reports

, 13:379 | Cite as

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: An Update on Biology and Treatment

  • John C. Riches
  • Alan G. Ramsay
  • John G. Gribben


Combination chemoimmunotherapy with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) has emerged as the current standard of care in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Despite very high response rates, this treatment is too toxic for many patients, and it remains unclear as how to manage patients who do not respond to these agents or who relapse early after treatment. An increase in our understanding of the biology of CLL has led to the development of a wide range of therapies aimed at specific defects in this disease. B-cell receptor signaling is aberrantly increased in CLL, and so many of these drugs target key steps in these pathways. Antitumor immunity is also impaired, and a number of strategies are being developed to repair this acquired immune dysfunction. This review highlights some of the emerging agents and describes the biological rationale for their use in CLL.


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia Fludarabine Cyclophosphamide Rituximab Lyn Syk Btk Dasatinib Fostamatinib PCI-32765 CAL-101 Everolimus Oblimersen, navitoclax Obatoclax BH3-mimetics Lenalidomide Chimeric antigen receptor CD40 gene therapy Chronic lymphocytic leukemia: an update on biology and treatment Leukemia 



J. C. Riches: none; A. G. Ramsay: none; J. G. Gribben: consultant to Celgene and honoraria from Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, and Mundipharma.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Riches
    • 1
  • Alan G. Ramsay
    • 1
  • John G. Gribben
    • 1
  1. 1.Barts Cancer Institute—A CR-UK Centre of ExcellenceQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK

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