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

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

  • 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.

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References:

  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: September 04, 2014
    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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