Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia--the role of the microenvironment pathogenesis and therapy.

British Journal of Haematology

PubMedID: 23617880

Ramsay AD, Rodriguez-Justo M. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia--the role of the microenvironment pathogenesis and therapy. Br J Haematol. 2013;162(1):15-24.
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL) is one of the more common forms of B cell malignancy. Although the condition has a variable clinical course, the trend is towards eventual relapse and the disease is considered incurable. Whilst the majority of the circulating CD5-positive neoplastic B cells are arrested in the G0 phase of the cell cycle, those in the bone marrow and lymphoid tissues proliferate at a rate of 0ยท1-1% of the entire clone per day. This proliferation is supported by the tissue microenvironment, which has been shown to induce upregulation of anti-apoptotic proteins and enhance the survival of the neoplastic cells. Microenvironmental factors are also thought to be important in tumour relapse and resistance to therapy. This review outlines the main signalling pathways involved in these tumour cell-stromal interactions, and includes potential therapeutic strategies based on the manipulation of key components within the CLL microenvironment.