B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia in Western countries, with an estimated annual incidence of 4.2 per 100 000.1 The disease has a predilection for the elderly and is characterized by the progressive expansion of CD5-expressing B lymphocytes in the bone marrow, blood, and secondary lymphoid tissues. However, the clinical course is remarkably heterogeneous. Individuals with an indolent form may live more than 30 years after diagnosis and never require treatment, whereas patients with an aggressive subtype experience a much shorter survival of 6 to 8 years despite aggressive therapy.
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