Chronic lymphatic leukaemia

"The prognosis depends on the stage of the disease and the complications that may arise".


Chronic lymphatic leukaemia (CLL) is a disease that is part of the chronic lymphoproliferative syndromes, characterized by an accumulation of lymphocytes in the blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes, liver and spleen.

In 95% of the cases, the disease involves B-lymphocytes.

Chronic lymphatic leukaemia is the most frequent leukaemia in Western countries, accounting for 30% of all leukaemias. It mainly affects males over 60 years old, increasing the incidence as age increases.


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What are the symptoms of lymphatic leukemia?

Many times the disease goes unnoticed (does not give symptoms) and is detected by chance when performing some routine tests (an increase in the number of lymphocytes is observed when the hemogram is performed).

When the disease produces symptoms, the patient often presents fever, enlarged lymph nodes (adenopathies), fatigue (asthenia) and/or frequent infections, such as pneumonia, herpes zoster.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Fever.
  • Fatigue.
  • Frequent infections.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have chronic lymphatic leukaemia

What are the causes of lymphatic leukemia?

The etiology of CLL is not yet clarified. Just as in other leukemias there is a clear relationship with radiation or leukemogenic chemicals, in CLL this relationship has not been demonstrated.

Only a clear familial incidence seems to have been proven.

What is your prognosis?

The prognosis depends on the stage of the disease. There are cases with the same survival rate as a person of the same age without CLL. However, in other more advanced stages, depending on prognostic factors, survival may be considerably lower.

Survival will also depend on the complications that may arise in the course of this leukemia. The most frequent are infections due to the fact that the disease itself produces a decrease in immunity, but also secondary to the reduction of the body's defenses by the treatments applied.

Other complications are autoimmune processes (hemolytic anemia), the appearance of other tumor diseases (e.g. melanoma and lung cancer) and the transformation of CLL into another more aggressive type of lymphoproliferative syndrome.

How is lymphatic leukemia diagnosed?

<p>Imagen de tubos de análisis de sangre del Laboratorio de Hematología de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra&nbsp;</p>

In the case of suspicion of chronic lymphatic leukaemia, it is essential to carry out a study of the bone marrow by means of a biopsy.

The study must be completed with a scan (to see the extent of the disease in the lymph nodes, liver and spleen).

It is also essential to carry out a cytogenetic study of the bone marrow that has prognostic value.

With all these data, the study of the extension (staging) of the disease is carried out. Usually in the CLL we use Rai's and Binet's staging. In both, patients are divided into three groups: low risk, intermediate risk and high risk.

How is chronic lymphatic leukemia treated?

We have a Day Hospital for outpatient treatment of leukemia

The importance of correct staging is that each stage of the disease will be treated in one way or another. Thus, the cases with the best prognosis may not receive treatment; they should only undergo periodic controls.

In the event that the disease must be treated, until recently the most commonly used drugs were chlorambucil and/or prednisone. Currently, drugs such as fludarabine and other derivatives of purine analogues are being used with very good results.

New biological therapies are being used, such as the use of different monoclonal antibodies, like alemtuzumab or rituximab. Occasionally, bone marrow transplantation may be indicated in young patients.

A multidisciplinary team of renowned prestige being at the forefront


Advanced Therapy Unit

The Advanced Therapies Unit of Clínica Universidad de Navarra has been established in order to deal exclusively with cellular therapies against cancer and other diseases of the immune system, favouring their administration and seeking to increase the safety of these treatments.

A multidisciplinary team of highly specialised nurses together with physicians from all the specialities involved in the approach to those treatments that depend on advanced therapy drugs and immunotherapy

Where do we treat it?


The Hematology and Hemotherapy Service of the
at the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

The Hematology Service of the Clinic, formed by specialists of recognized national and international prestige, has integrated molecular diagnostic techniques and the use of new personalized treatments in its assistance work, allowing a more precise and fast diagnosis of the hematological diseases.

The joint work of the medical staff and the researcher facilitates the development and application of the new treatments and at the same time the precise evaluation of the result of the treatments.

Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • Experts in the development of Cellular Therapy treatments.
  • International reference center in lymphomas, multiple myeloma and monoclonal gammopathies.
  • Experts in the diagnosis and treatment of hemorrhagic and thrombotic problems.

Our team of professionals