Life expectancy with lymphocytic leukemia


For many people, the diagnosis of lymphocytic leukemia or blood cancer sounds like a sentence. But very few people know that in the last 15 years a powerful arsenal of medicines has appeared in medicine, thanks to which it is possible to achieve long-term remission or the so-called "relative cure and even the abolition of pharmacological preparations.

What is lymphatic leukemia and what are the causes of its appearance?

It is a cancerous disease in which leukocytes, bone marrow, and peripheral blood are affected, and lymphoid organs are involved in the process.

Scientists are inclined to the fact that the cause of the disease is laid down at the genetic level. Very pronounced so-called family predisposition. It is believed that the risk of developing the disease in the next of kin, namely in children, is 8 times higher. At the same time, there was no specific gene causing the disease.

The disease is most common in America, Canada, in Western Europe. And almost uncommon lymphatic leukemia is in the countries of Asia and Japan. Even among the representatives of Asian countries that were born and grew up in America, this disease is extremely rare. Such long-term observations made it possible to conclude that environmental factors do not influence the development of the disease.

Lymphoid leukemia can also develop as a secondary disease after radiation therapy (in 10% of cases).

It is believed that some congenital pathologies can lead to the development of the disease: Down Syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome.

Forms of the disease

Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer that is morphologically represented by immature lymphocytes (lymphoblasts). Specific symptoms by which you can put a unique diagnosis does not exist.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) ─ a tumor consisting of mature lymphocytes is a long-term slow-onset disease.


Symptoms typical for LL:

  • increased peripheral lymph nodes, liver, spleen;
  • increased sweating, rashes on the skin, a slight increase in temperature:
  • loss of appetite, weight loss, chronic decay;
  • weakness in muscles, pain in the bones;
  • immunodeficiency ─ impaired immunological reactivity of the body, infections are attached;
  • immune hemolysis ─ damage to erythrocytes;
  • immune thrombocytopenia ─ leads to hemorrhages, bleeding, the presence of blood in the urine;
  • secondary tumors.

Stages of lymphatic leukemia depending on the form of the disease

The ALL phases:

  1. Primary attack is the period of the manifestation of the first symptoms, treatment to the doctor, the setting of an exact diagnosis.
  2. Remission (weakening or disappearance of symptoms) ─ occurs after treatment. If this period lasts more than five years, then the patient is diagnosed with full recovery. Nevertheless, every six months you need to conduct a clinical blood test.
  3. Relapse is the resumption of the disease on the background of apparent recovery.
  4. Resistance is immunity and resistance to chemotherapy, when several courses of treatment failed to produce results.
  5. Early mortality - the patient dies at the beginning of chemotherapy.

Stages of CLLdepend on blood indices and on the degree of involvement of lymphoid organs (lymph nodes of the head and neck, armpits, groin, spleen, liver) into the pathological process:

  1. Stage A - pathology covers less than three areas, marked lymphocytosis, a low risk, survival of more than 10 years.
  2. Stage B ─ affects three or more areas, lymphocytosis, intermediate or intermediate risk, survival of 5-9 years.
  3. Stage C ─ all lymph nodes, lymphocytosis, thrombocytopenia, anemia, high risk, survival, -3 years are affected.

What is included in the diagnosis?

Standard tests for diagnosis:

  1. Clinical methods of investigation - a detailed blood test (leukocyte formula).
  2. Immunophenotyping of leukocytes is a diagnostic that gives characteristics to cells (determines their type and functional state). This allows us to understand the nature of the disease and to predict its further development.
  3. Trepanobiopsy of the bone marrow is a puncture with the extraction of an integral fragment of the bone marrow. In order for the method to be as informative as possible, the tissue taken should retain its structure.
  4. Cytogenetic research is mandatory in oncohematology. The method presents an analysis of the chromosomes of bone marrow cells under a microscope.
  5. Molecular biological research is gene diagnostics, DNA and RNA analysis. Helps diagnose the disease at an early stage, plan and justify further treatment.
  6. Immunochemical examination of blood and urine ─ determines the parameters of leukocytes.

External manifestation of the disease

Modern treatment of lymphocytic leukemia

The approach to treatment of ALL and CLL is different.

Therapy of acute lymphocytic leukemia takes place in two stages:

  1. The first stage is aimed at achieving a stable remission by destroying pathological leukocytes in the bone marrow and blood.
  2. The second stage (post-remission therapy) is the destruction of inactive leukocytes, which in the future can lead to relapse.

Standard methods of treatment ALL:


Systematic (drugs fall into the total blood flow), intrathecal (chemotherapy drugs are injected into the canal spine, where the cerebrospinal fluid is located), regional (drugs act on a certain organ).

Radiation therapy

It can be external (irradiation with a special apparatus) and internal (placement of hermetically packed radioactive substances in the tumor itself or near it). If there is a risk of spread of the tumor in the central nervous system, then external radiation therapy is used.


Bone marrow transplantation or hematopoietic stem cells (blood cell precursors).

Biological Therapy

It is aimed at restoring and stimulating the patient's immunity.

Restoration and normalization of bone marrow operation occurs no earlier than two years after treatment with chemotherapy.

For the treatment of CLL, chemotherapy and ITC therapy are used, tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Scientists have isolated proteins (tyrosine kinases), which contribute to the growth and large production of leukocytes from stem cells. ITC preparations block this function.

External manifestation of the disease

Prognosis and life expectancy

Oncological diseases by mortality occupy the second place in the world. The proportion of lymphocytic leukemia in this statistic does not exceed,%.


The acute form mainly develops in children and adolescents. The forecast for a favorable outcome under the conditions of innovative treatment technologies is very high and is more than 90%. At the age of 2-6 years, almost 100% recovery occurs. But one condition must be observed ─ a timely request for specialized medical assistance!

Chronic form is a disease of adults. There is a clear pattern of the development of the disease associated with the age of patients. The older the person, the greater the likelihood of blood cancer. For example, in 50 years 4 cases per 100 000 people are fixed, and in 80 years it is 30 cases for the same number of people. The peak of the disease is 60 years.Lymphatic leukemiais more common in men, this is 2/3 of all cases. The reason for such sexual differentiation is not clear. The chronic form is incurable, but the prognosis of a ten-year survival rate is 70% (over the years the disease never recurs).