LGL Leukemia

Large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia is a rare blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside your bones that makes blood cells.

Blood consists of three types of cells:

  • White blood cells, which fight infection and disease as part of your immune system
  • Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the blood
  • Platelets, which help the blood to clot

There are several types of white blood cells:

  • Granulocytes (including neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils)
  • Monocytes
  • Lymphocytes (including B-cells, T-cells and NK-cells)

LGLs are a type of lymphocyte. LGL leukemia occurs when there are too many LGLs and not enough of the other types of blood cells, especially the neutrophils. There are two kinds of LGL leukemia:

  • T-cell leukemia. This is a chronic (slow-growing) disease that usually affects people 50 to 60 years old – both men and women. It is often associated with rheumatoid arthritis and bacterial infections. Symptoms may include anemia (low red blood cell count) and neutropenia (low neutrophils count).
  • Natural killer (NK)-cell leukemia. This disease can be either chronic or aggressive (fast-growing). The aggressive form tends to occur in younger people. Symptoms include fever, weight loss, massive enlargement of the liver and spleen, anemia and severe neutropenia. The chronic form is similar to T-cell leukemia and does not change into the acute form.

The exact cause of LGL leukemia is unknown.

Treatment

There is no typical treatment for LGL leukemia. Most patients are offered entry into clinical trials if they meet the criteria.

Treatments often include:

  • Medications to treat infections and suppress the immune system
  • Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells with powerful drugs given through an IV
  • Surgery to remove the spleen
  • Stem cell transplant to replace unhealthy cells with healthy cells
  • Blood transfusions to treat anemia

Care Team

You may see one or more of the following specialists for your cancer treatment.
David Claxton, MD David Claxton, MD Malignant Hematologist View Researcher Profile
W. Christopher Ehmann, MD W. Christopher Ehmann, MD Malignant Hematologist View Researcher Profile
Raymond Hohl, MD, PhD Raymond Hohl, MD, PhD Malignant Hematologist View Researcher Profile
Heath Mackley, MD Heath Mackley, MD Radiation Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Seema Naik, MD Seema Naik, MD Malignant Hematologist View Researcher Profile
Witold Rybka, MD, FRCPC Witold Rybka, MD, FRCPC Malignant Hematologist View Researcher Profile
Henry Wagner Jr., MD Henry Wagner Jr., MD Radiation Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Hong Zheng, MD, PhD Hong Zheng, MD, PhD Malignant Hematologist View Researcher Profile
Shin Mineishi, MD Shin Mineishi, MD View Researcher Profile
Kevin L. Rakszawski, MD Kevin L. Rakszawski, MD View Researcher Profile

Locations

Penn State Cancer Institute

Penn State Cancer Institute

400 University Dr
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-6585
Penn State Health Medical Group - St Joseph Medical Center

Penn State Health Medical Group - St Joseph Medical Center

2494 Bernville Rd
Suite 106
Reading, PA 19605

Phone: 610-898-1800

Clinical Trials

A Phase 2 Study of the JAK1/JAK2 Inhibitor Ruxolitinib With Chemotherapy in Children With De Novo High-Risk CRLF2-Rearranged and/or JAK Pathway–Mutant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
A Phase III Randomized, Open Label, Multi-center Study of the Safety and Efficacy of Apixaban for Thromboembolism Prevention versus No Systemic Anticoagulant Prophylaxis during Induction Chemotherapy in Children with Newly Diagnosed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) or Lymphoma (T or B cell) Treated with Pegylated Asparaginase
Phase I Study of Carfilzomib in combination with Cyclophosphamide and Etoposide for Children with Relapsed or Refractory Solid Tumors and Leukemias
Site for EA9161: A Randomized Phase III Study of the addition of Venetoclax to Ibrutinib and Obinutuzumab versus Ibrutinib and Obinutuzumab in Untreated Younger Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

Groups, Classes and Support

Patients and family members affected by LGL leukemia are invited to join an online support group. Support groups allow you to share your challenges, concerns and thoughts with others who have similar experiences.

To join the leukemia group, you must have a Yahoo login and password. Click link to “Groups’’ and search “Large Granular Lymphocyte.’’

For more information call 610-276-3199.

Prevention and Screening

There is no way to prevent most types of leukemia, and there is no recommended screening. Sometimes leukemia is identified during routine blood tests.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia is a rare blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside your bones that makes blood cells.

Symptoms

Symptoms of both kinds of LGL leukemia may include:

  • Repeated infections
  • Fevers
  • Night sweats
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)

Some people don’t have any symptoms of LGL leukemia.

Diagnosis

LGL leukemia can be diagnosed with several tests, including:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) is a type of blood test to look for high lymphocyte count and low neutrophil count, which are the hallmarks of LGL leukemia.
  • Flow cytometry is a process that can be done with your blood or bone marrow to look for LGLs and what type they are (to determine what type of LGL leukemia you have).
  • T-cell receptor gene rearrangement (TCR) is usually done after flow cytometry to narrow the diagnosis.
  • Bone marrow biopsy is analysis of your bone marrow to look for abnormal blood cells.
  • Removal of spleen and spleen analysis may be done for patients with enlarged spleen to determine if LGL cells are present.

LGL Leukemia

Large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia is a rare blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside your bones that makes blood cells.

Blood consists of three types of cells:

  • White blood cells, which fight infection and disease as part of your immune system
  • Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the blood
  • Platelets, which help the blood to clot

There are several types of white blood cells:

  • Granulocytes (including neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils)
  • Monocytes
  • Lymphocytes (including B-cells, T-cells and NK-cells)

LGLs are a type of lymphocyte. LGL leukemia occurs when there are too many LGLs and not enough of the other types of blood cells, especially the neutrophils. There are two kinds of LGL leukemia:

  • T-cell leukemia. This is a chronic (slow-growing) disease that usually affects people 50 to 60 years old – both men and women. It is often associated with rheumatoid arthritis and bacterial infections. Symptoms may include anemia (low red blood cell count) and neutropenia (low neutrophils count).
  • Natural killer (NK)-cell leukemia. This disease can be either chronic or aggressive (fast-growing). The aggressive form tends to occur in younger people. Symptoms include fever, weight loss, massive enlargement of the liver and spleen, anemia and severe neutropenia. The chronic form is similar to T-cell leukemia and does not change into the acute form.

The exact cause of LGL leukemia is unknown.

There is no typical treatment for LGL leukemia. Most patients are offered entry into clinical trials if they meet the criteria.

Treatments often include:

  • Medications to treat infections and suppress the immune system
  • Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells with powerful drugs given through an IV
  • Surgery to remove the spleen
  • Stem cell transplant to replace unhealthy cells with healthy cells
  • Blood transfusions to treat anemia
You may see one or more of the following specialists for your cancer treatment.
David Claxton, MD David Claxton, MD Malignant Hematologist View Researcher Profile
W. Christopher Ehmann, MD W. Christopher Ehmann, MD Malignant Hematologist View Researcher Profile
Raymond Hohl, MD, PhD Raymond Hohl, MD, PhD Malignant Hematologist View Researcher Profile
Heath Mackley, MD Heath Mackley, MD Radiation Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Seema Naik, MD Seema Naik, MD Malignant Hematologist View Researcher Profile
Witold Rybka, MD, FRCPC Witold Rybka, MD, FRCPC Malignant Hematologist View Researcher Profile
Henry Wagner Jr., MD Henry Wagner Jr., MD Radiation Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Hong Zheng, MD, PhD Hong Zheng, MD, PhD Malignant Hematologist View Researcher Profile
Shin Mineishi, MD Shin Mineishi, MD View Researcher Profile
Kevin L. Rakszawski, MD Kevin L. Rakszawski, MD View Researcher Profile
Penn State Cancer Institute

Penn State Cancer Institute

400 University Dr
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-6585
Penn State Health Medical Group - St Joseph Medical Center

Penn State Health Medical Group - St Joseph Medical Center

2494 Bernville Rd
Suite 106
Reading, PA 19605

Phone: 610-898-1800
A Phase 2 Study of the JAK1/JAK2 Inhibitor Ruxolitinib With Chemotherapy in Children With De Novo High-Risk CRLF2-Rearranged and/or JAK Pathway–Mutant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
A Phase III Randomized, Open Label, Multi-center Study of the Safety and Efficacy of Apixaban for Thromboembolism Prevention versus No Systemic Anticoagulant Prophylaxis during Induction Chemotherapy in Children with Newly Diagnosed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) or Lymphoma (T or B cell) Treated with Pegylated Asparaginase
Phase I Study of Carfilzomib in combination with Cyclophosphamide and Etoposide for Children with Relapsed or Refractory Solid Tumors and Leukemias
Site for EA9161: A Randomized Phase III Study of the addition of Venetoclax to Ibrutinib and Obinutuzumab versus Ibrutinib and Obinutuzumab in Untreated Younger Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

Patients and family members affected by LGL leukemia are invited to join an online support group. Support groups allow you to share your challenges, concerns and thoughts with others who have similar experiences.

To join the leukemia group, you must have a Yahoo login and password. Click link to “Groups’’ and search “Large Granular Lymphocyte.’’

For more information call 610-276-3199.

There is no way to prevent most types of leukemia, and there is no recommended screening. Sometimes leukemia is identified during routine blood tests.
Large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia is a rare blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside your bones that makes blood cells.

Symptoms

Symptoms of both kinds of LGL leukemia may include:

  • Repeated infections
  • Fevers
  • Night sweats
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)

Some people don’t have any symptoms of LGL leukemia.

Diagnosis

LGL leukemia can be diagnosed with several tests, including:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) is a type of blood test to look for high lymphocyte count and low neutrophil count, which are the hallmarks of LGL leukemia.
  • Flow cytometry is a process that can be done with your blood or bone marrow to look for LGLs and what type they are (to determine what type of LGL leukemia you have).
  • T-cell receptor gene rearrangement (TCR) is usually done after flow cytometry to narrow the diagnosis.
  • Bone marrow biopsy is analysis of your bone marrow to look for abnormal blood cells.
  • Removal of spleen and spleen analysis may be done for patients with enlarged spleen to determine if LGL cells are present.