CLL is chronic lymphocytic leukemia 

CLL is a usually slow-growing blood cancer that affects B cells, also called B lymphocytes. B cells are a type of white blood cell that help fight infection.  

New B cells are constantly being formed, and healthy B cells eventually die out. But in people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), abnormal B cells live longer than they’re supposed to or too many are made. They grow out of control and build up in your blood and bone marrow. They crowd out healthy blood cells, which include other types of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Over time, abnormal B cells can also accumulate in your lymph nodes, spleen, and liver.

SLL is small lymphocytic lymphoma

SLL is closely related to CLL. However, SLL cancer cells are mostly found in the lymph nodes rather than in the blood and bone marrow.

What is relapsed or refractory CLL/SLL? 

If you have already had at least one other therapy for CLL/SLL and your cancer either progressed or did not respond to treatment, your healthcare provider may use terms such as “relapsed” or “refractory.”  

Relapsed means that the previous treatment worked for a while, but now the cancer has come back.

Refractory means the cancer didn’t respond to the treatment you received or the cancer returned within 6 months of ending treatment.

What is 17p deletion?

You may have heard the term 17p deletion from your healthcare provider as a way to describe your CLL. 17p deletion is a genetic change (also called a mutation) in which part of chromosome 17 is missing in some CLL cells. 17p deletion in people with CLL is associated with poor response to chemotherapy. 17p deletion is found in less than 1 out of 10 people with CLL who have not been treated and in up to 5 out of 10 people with relapsed or refractory CLL.