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Patients With a 17p Deletion: Understanding Disease Behavior and Treatment Options

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Published on April 3, 2019

Patient Power community member Pam wants to know more about course of care for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients with a 17p deletion. During this Ask the Expert segment, renowned CLL expert Dr. Richard Furman, from Weill Cornell Medicine,explains what patients need to know about prognostic markers and understanding clinical behavior. Watch now to learn more.

This is a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power. We thank AbbVie, Inc. and Pharmacyclics for their support.


Transcript | Patients With a 17p Deletion: Understanding Disease Behavior and Treatment Options

So someone who is 17p deleted and their disease has remained stable for the last five years, their disease is stable, and the 17p deletion is not going to be what drives the prognosis.  I think that's very important because when you look at a curve you're going to see some people doing well and coming off the curve late and some people doing poorly coming off the curve early.  You know, where they are on the curve we have no idea how to predict.  All we know is that they're on a particular curve.  So prognostic markers tell us about the population, never about the individual. 

Now, with that being said, we do know 17p deletion a lot of it, the percentage of the deletion if you're above 20 or below 20 does have an impact on how you do overall.  So 20 percent and below, they—patients seem to have a better prognostic outcome than the patients who have 20 percent and above. 

With that being said, I do have patients who have 17p deletion in 70 percent of their cells and they're just hanging out doing quite nicely.  So clinical behavior does trump everything else. 

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