Genetic Epidemiology of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
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Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a subtype of B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders (LPD), and is the most common form of adult leukemia in Caucasians in the United States. Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) is also a B-cell LPD and is typically considered to be the same disease as CLL, based on pathology. We consider CLL and SLL as the same disease entity, and hereafter refer to both simply as "CLL". Using genealogical databases and cancer records, the familial clustering for CLL is one of the strongest for all cancer sites, strongly implicating germline genetic risk. We ascertained CLL cases and controls for a genomewide association study (GWAS) that was undertaken as part of the International Lymphoma Epidemiology (InterLymph) consortium GWAS. Some CLL cases are also part of extended high-risk CLLpedigrees.