Increased serum BAFF (B-cell activating factor of the TNF family) level is a peculiar feature associated with familial chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Stefano Molica, Giovanna Digiesi, Francesca Mauro, Rosanna Mirabelli, Giovanna Cutrona, Gaetano Vitelli, Fortunato Morabito, Francesco Iuliano, Robin Foà, Manlio Ferrarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In a series of 84 chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients we sought to establish whether BAFF (B-cell activating factor of the TNF family) circulating levels correlated with clinical characteristics of disease. BAFF serum levels were significantly higher in 20 healthy controls (i.e., median 695 ng/mL, range 389-1040) in comparison to the whole population of CLL patients (median 376, range 93-8914; P <0.0001). After setting a cut-off at the median value observed in healthy controls (i.e., 695 ng/mL) we found that 6 out of 15 (40%) patients with familial CLL had increased BAFF levels while the same occurred only in 5 out of 64 (7.2%) patients with sporadic CLL (P = 0.0007). No significant difference in age (P = 0.82), sex (P = 0.97), Binet clinical stage (P = 0.20), incidence of autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) or immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) (P = 0.47), mutational status of IgVH (P = 1.00), CD38 (P = 0.34) and ZAP-70 expression (P = 0.16) could be detected between patients with sporadic and familial CLL, respectively. The only feature characterizing familial CLL patients was a higher serum BAFF level (sporadic CLL 336 ng/mL, range 93-925; familial CLL 601 ng/mL, range 138-8914; P = 0.002). Our data suggest that BAFF levels are elevated in patients with familial CLL. The small cohort of patients used implies that a larger study is needed to reinforce the observation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-165
Number of pages4
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009



  • BAFF
  • Familial CLL
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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