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Cancer Health Center

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Hairy Cell Leukemia Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - General Information About Hairy Cell Leukemia

Prognostic Factors

Hairy cell leukemia is an indolent, low-grade, B-cell lymphoma usually characterized by the following:

Recommended Related to Leukemia & Lymphoma

General Information About AIDS-Related Lymphoma

Background and Definitons The AIDS was first described in 1981, and the first definitions included certain opportunistic infections, Kaposi sarcoma, and central nervous system (CNS) lymphomas. In 1984, a multicenter study described the clinical spectrum of non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) in the populations at risk for AIDS.[1] In 1985 and 1987, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised the definition of AIDS to include human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients who...

Read the General Information About AIDS-Related Lymphoma article > >

  • Circulating B-cells with cytoplasmic projections ("hairy" appearance).
  • Splenomegaly.
  • Absent lymphadenopathy.
  • Pancytopenia.
  • Monocytopenia.


In addition to the B-cell antigens CD19, CD20, and CD22, the cells coexpress CD11c, CD25, and CD103. The BRAF-V600E mutation is a hairy cell leukemia-defining genetic lesion that can be used diagnostically.[1,2] The decision to treat is based on symptomatic cytopenias, massive splenomegaly, or the presence of other complications. About 10% of all patients will never require therapy.


  1. Tiacci E, Schiavoni G, Forconi F, et al.: Simple genetic diagnosis of hairy cell leukemia by sensitive detection of the BRAF-V600E mutation. Blood 119 (1): 192-5, 2012.
  2. Naik RR, Saven A: My treatment approach to hairy cell leukemia. Mayo Clin Proc 87 (1): 67-76, 2012.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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