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).
- Absent lymphadenopathy.
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.References
- 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. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Naik RR, Saven A: My treatment approach to hairy cell leukemia. Mayo Clin Proc 87 (1): 67-76, 2012. [PUBMED Abstract]