Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer starting in the white blood cells (lymphocytes), which are a major part of the immune system and help the body fight infection. The cancer forms in bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are formed. The cancer is able to invade the blood and over time may move to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen. In this case, "chronic" means the cancer progresses more slowly than "acute" forms of leukemia. However, it also tends to be more difficult to cure. Mainly affecting older adults, CLL is the most common type of leukemia, comprising about one-third of all leukemia cases.


The UAB Medicine Leukemia Clinic utilizes state-of-the-art technology to screen for and treat leukemia. Our physicians are nationally recognized for their expertise and innovation in the field, and our research team is dedicated to improving treatments and, ultimately, finding a cure for these diseases. Because we are part of the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB’s nationally recognized research programs, our patients may be eligible for medicines and treatments not available at other institutions in the region. Our Comprehensive Cancer Center is nationally recognized as one of the best in the country and is a leader in bone marrow transplantation. UAB Medicine's Bone Marrow Transplant Program is the only one in the state and has achieved a high level of success, even with difficult diagnoses.

A diagnosis of cancer can be stressful for patients, so we provide a nurse navigator to help organize your visit. The program streamlines your introduction to UAB Medicine by arranging for your medical records, setting your appointments, and guiding you through the process. This allows your treatment team to deliver more efficient care.






UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials