Hypogammaglobulinemia, commonly encountered in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality; however, its prognostic significance in patients diagnosed in early stages of disease remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive power of hypogammaglobulinemia at Bonet stage A.Methods:
Using the database of the Israeli CLL Study Group, we analyzed the relationship between low serum levels of IgG, IgA, and IgM; the presence of paraproteinemia, as well as other well-recognized prognostic markers in CLL; and time to first treatment (TTT) and overall survival. A total of 1113 patients consecutively diagnosed during the last 25 yrs with Binet stage A CLL were evaluated, and baseline information on serum immunoglobulin levels was found in 857 of the cases.Results:
Overall survival times correlated with age >65 yr, male gender, the presence of lymphadenopathy, high serum beta 2-microglobulin (b2m), CD38 and ZAP-70 expression, but not with low levels of immunoglobulin or the presence of paraproteinemia. By univariate analysis, patients with low IgA levels had a shorter TTT; however, on multivariate analysis, the presence of lymphadenopathy (P 0.02), b2m (P 0.04), CD38 (P < 0.001), and ZAP-70 (P < 0.001) was the only laboratory parameters with prognostic significance.Conclusions:
In our cohort of patients with early-stage CLL, baseline hypogammaglobulinemia and the presence of paraproteinemia were not found to correlate with prognosis.