Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a malignant (clonal) disease of the bone marrow in which early lymphoid precursors proliferate and replace the normal hematopoietic cells of the marrow. ALL is the most common type of cancer and leukemia in children in the US, but is also a significant cancer in adults because early recognition can… Read more »

Hairy cell leukemia

Hairy cell leukemia is a chronic lymphoid leukemia named after the hair-like cytoplasmic projections seen on the surface of the abnormal B-cells. Mostly male patients are effected and are over 40 years of age. Most patients present with pancytopenia and splenomegaly. Patients may also have fatigue, fever, weight loss, and infection secondary to granulocytopenia or monocytopenia…. Read more »

Follicular Lymphoma

Most common of indolent lymphomas (20% of all non-Hodgkin’s).  It is added because you may see a question with a patient with persistent (but possibly somewhat waxing and waning) lymph node enlargement and not much else to report. If you see that question . . . think of follicular lymphoma. Presentation Patients usually present with… Read more »

Chronic myelogenous leukemia

Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), also called chronic myeloid leukemia, is a clonal myeloproliferative neoplasm of the primitive hematopoietic stem cell that is characterized by overproduction of cells of the myeloid series, resulting in marked splenomegaly and leukocytosis. Basophilia and thrombocytosis are common.  Less than 30% of marrow blasts defines chronic (>30%=acute). The chronic myeloproliferative disease… Read more »

Multiple Myeloma

Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells of unknown cause, and characterized by bone marrow infiltration and skeletal destruction. Median age at diagnosis is 68 and is rare before 40. Its incidence in blacks is almost twice that in whites. Multiple myeloma is slightly more common in men than in women. It has also been know to… Read more »


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia of B cell origin (and the most common overall). Usually there is asymptomatic lymphocytosis, but the cells can accumulate in the bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and elsewhere and patients present with sequelae from this. Patients present at a median age 60 years. Symptoms such as… Read more »

BRCA1 & 2 (Breast Cancer)

Several familial breast cancer syndromes with associated molecular abnormalities have been identified. Chief among them is the breast-ovarian cancer syndrome, which is linked to germline mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2 on chromosome 17 and 13, respectively, these account for the majority of autosomal dominant inherited breast cancers (and may be… Read more »

Breast Cancer Risk Factors & Statistics

There are multiple risk factors and statistics for the development of breast cancer in a given individual.  The highest risk factor (by far) is gender. Breast cancer usually occurs in women. A second critical risk factor is age. Approximately 75% of breast cancer cases in the US are diagnosed in women older than 50 years. Family history… Read more »

Breast Cancer Pharmacological Therapy

Early Stage Breast Cancer Agents used in adjuvant breast cancer chemotherapy include the following: Taxanes: Among the most active and commonly used chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of early stage breast cancer and should be considered especially those with HER2-positive disease, using either the weekly paclitaxel or every-3-week docetaxel dosing schedules. Anthracyclines: Used in the treatment… Read more »

Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MUGUS)

The term MGUS denotes the presence of a monoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig), also called an M-protein, in the serum or urine in persons without evidence of multiple myeloma, Waldenström macroglobulinemia, amyloidosis, or other lymphoproliferative disorders. The malignant diseases, such as multiple myeloma, Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, plasmacytoma, and plasma cell leukemia all have large tumor bulk and require… Read more »