Familial B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia in a population of patients from southern Italy

Silvana Capalbo, Vincenzo Callea, Caterina Musolino, Patrizia Guglielmo, Giovanni D'Arena, Alberto Fragasso, Cosima Battista, Rosario Giustolisi, Maura Brugiatelli, Vincenzo Liso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the prevalence of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in 9650 relatives of 510 CLL patients from 5 different regions (Apulia, Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, and Sicily) of Southern Italy. Data collection included a family history questionnaire. In our series of 510 CLL patients, 53 families with 2 or more individuals who had chronic lymphoproliferative disease (CLD) or other hematological malignancies were identified. In these families, 27 cases of CLL, 10 of indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and 7 of multiple myeloma were identified in relatives of CLL probands. Twenty-two relatives developed hematological malignancies other than CLD (19, acute leukemia; 3, chronic myeloid leukemia). In this study the prevalence of CLD in relatives of 510 CLL patients was 8.6% (44/510), and the prevalence of CLL in the same series was 5.2% (27/510). Considering the presence of clusters of individuals with hematological malignancies, overall our series contained 4 families showing a cluster with more than 2 cases. The most frequent pattern of affected family members was represented by 39 families (39/53 [73%]) with affected siblings or cousins only. Twenty siblings had CLL. The other families showed a multigenerational pattern with an affected parent-offspring relationship in only 11 (21%) of the cases and with a combination of the first 2 categories in 3 (6%) of the families. In 8 families belonging to both the last 2 mentioned groups, the affected offspring had an earlier disease onset than their parents, suggesting anticipation. We estimated the size and examined the pattern of familial aggregation of hematological malignancies, in particular CLL/CLD, in a specific geographical area. CLL was the most frequent disease in relatives, mainly siblings, of our CLL patients. Our results may be a contribution to the characterization of the epidemiological distribution pattern of CLL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-357
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Hematology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2004


  • Familial B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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