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Chronic Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Treatment (PDQ®)

Chronic Neutrophilic Leukemia (CNL)

Disease Overview

CNL is a rare chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm of unknown etiology, characterized by sustained peripheral blood neutrophilia (>25 × 109/L) and hepatosplenomegaly.[1,2] The bone marrow is hypercellular. No significant dysplasia is in any of the cell lineages, and bone marrow fibrosis is uncommon.[1,2] Cytogenetic studies are normal in nearly 90% of the patients. In the remaining patients, clonal karyotypic abnormalities may include +8, +9, del (20q) and del (11q).[1,3-5] There is no Philadelphia chromosome or BCR/ABL fusion gene. CNL is a slowly progressive disorder, and the survival of patients is variable, ranging from 6 months to more than 20 years.

Treatment Overview

Until the last few years, the treatment of CNL focused on disease control rather than cure. Once the disease progressed to a more aggressive leukemia, there was typically little chance of obtaining a long-lasting remission because of the older age of most patients as well as the acquisition of multiple poor prognostic cytogenetic abnormalities. Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation represents a potentially curative treatment modality in the management of this disorder.[6-8] Varying success has been reported with the use of traditional chemotherapies including hydroxyurea and interferon.[9]

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with chronic neutrophilic leukemia. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


  1. Imbert M, Bain B, Pierre R, et al.: Chronic neutrophilic leukemia. In: Jaffe ES, Harris NL, Stein H, et al., eds.: Pathology and Genetics of Tumours of Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues. Lyon, France: IARC Press, 2001. World Health Organization Classification of Tumours, 3, pp 27-8.
  2. Zittoun R, Réa D, Ngoc LH, et al.: Chronic neutrophilic leukemia. A study of four cases. Ann Hematol 68 (2): 55-60, 1994. [PUBMED Abstract]
  3. Froberg MK, Brunning RD, Dorion P, et al.: Demonstration of clonality in neutrophils using FISH in a case of chronic neutrophilic leukemia. Leukemia 12 (4): 623-6, 1998. [PUBMED Abstract]
  4. Yanagisawa K, Ohminami H, Sato M, et al.: Neoplastic involvement of granulocytic lineage, not granulocytic-monocytic, monocytic, or erythrocytic lineage, in a patient with chronic neutrophilic leukemia. Am J Hematol 57 (3): 221-4, 1998. [PUBMED Abstract]
  5. Matano S, Nakamura S, Kobayashi K, et al.: Deletion of the long arm of chromosome 20 in a patient with chronic neutrophilic leukemia: cytogenetic findings in chronic neutrophilic leukemia. Am J Hematol 54 (1): 72-5, 1997. [PUBMED Abstract]
  6. Piliotis E, Kutas G, Lipton JH: Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in the management of chronic neutrophilic leukemia. Leuk Lymphoma 43 (10): 2051-4, 2002. [PUBMED Abstract]
  7. Hasle H, Olesen G, Kerndrup G, et al.: Chronic neutrophil leukaemia in adolescence and young adulthood. Br J Haematol 94 (4): 628-30, 1996. [PUBMED Abstract]
  8. Böhm J, Schaefer HE: Chronic neutrophilic leukaemia: 14 new cases of an uncommon myeloproliferative disease. J Clin Pathol 55 (11): 862-4, 2002. [PUBMED Abstract]
  9. Elliott MA, Dewald GW, Tefferi A, et al.: Chronic neutrophilic leukemia (CNL): a clinical, pathologic and cytogenetic study. Leukemia 15 (1): 35-40, 2001. [PUBMED Abstract]
  • Updated: April 2, 2015