Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

A diagnosis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) may come as a significant surprise, especially if you have no apparent symptoms—in fact, many patients do not develop symptoms for many years. Once you know you have this cancer of the white blood cells, however, the knowledge changes the way you approach your health, your day-to-day activities, and your life as a whole.

CLL is one of the most common blood cancers in the United States, but the course of the disease and its treatment are different for each patient. You need an accurate diagnosis to understand the likely progression of the disease and the best treatment options.

Wilmot Cancer Center is the only medical center in the region with a unique specialty clinic for the treatment of CLL. We offer a full range of diagnostic options to determine the stage of CLL for each patient, including specialized tests for chromosomal abnormalities (the FISH test), gene sequencing, and immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region (IGHV) mutation status—tests that help determine the disease prognosis as well as its current state. We use these data to choose the appropriate management plan for you, from active monitoring to targeted therapy. We also can recognize patients early in their treatment who may benefit from reduced intensity allogeneic (bone marrow) transplant.

Management of your CLL can be complex, depending on the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis—and some patients do not require any treatment when the disease is discovered. The CLL team at Wilmot can help you take the healthiest approach to living with this disease, from diet and exercise to screening and prevention of infections and second cancers.

Download the CLL booklet


Participate in a Clinical Trial


Many clinical research studies on CLL are currently in progress. Researchers design studies to better understand the causes and progression of CLL and to test the safety and effectiveness of different treatments.  Some studies test treatments that have been proven, comparing them to other forms of therapy to see which ones are better. Your participation in a research project could help researchers better understand CLL, and is essential for developing better treatments for the disease. Talk to your doctor at Wilmot about research studies and clinical trials that are in progress, and how you can become involved in a study.


Why Wilmot?

  • The only center in the area for CLL treatment and research
  • A team of doctors led by an internationally recognized CLL expert
  • Specialized tests to predict the disease’s behavior and determine the best course of treatment
  • More clinical trials for CLL care than at any other cancer center in the region
  • Access to the newest, most cutting-edge treatments
  • Ability to guide patients in the use of non-drug preventative measures to slow the progress of CLL
  • Availability of supportive care to prevent infections and other illnesses that can arise in CLL patients
  • Collaboration by experts in medical oncology, pathology, stem cell transplant and hematology, all under one roof.
  • CLL research efforts that constantly seek to identify new, safer and more effective treatments.
  • The region’s only center for stem cell transplants (both autologous and allogeneic).


The CLL Team at Wilmot Cancer Center


Clive Zent
Clive S. Zent, M.B., B.Ch. , a highly experienced and internationally recognized CLL researcher and expert in CLL patient care, leads the CLL team at Wilmot Cancer Center. Dr. Zent’s research contributions have included clinical trials using novel agents and combination therapies to treat CLL, therapy of high-risk CLL patients, the use of molecular prognostic markers in the management of CLL, diagnosis of CLL and related diseases, and determining how the disease acts on or resists laboratory-grown cells called monoclonal antibodies that are used in the treatment of CLL. 


Paul Barr
Paul M. Barr, M.D., Director of Clinical Trials at Wilmot Cancer Center, serves as principal investigator on several local and national clinical trial treatment protocols for CLL and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Most recently, he received a Clinical Research award from the Lymphoma Research Foundation based on his work developing combination therapies to target molecules within the B cell receptor pathway for CLL and lymphoma patients.

Contact Us

(585) 275-5830


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