Continuing Education

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in 2018: What the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology Needs to Know

Sandra E. Kurtin, PhDc, ANP-C, AOCN®, and Ali McBride, PharmD, BCOP

The University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, Arizona

Authors’ disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Sandra E. Kurtin, PhDc, ANP-C, AOCN®, The University of Arizona Cancer Center, 3838 North Campbell Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719. E-mail:

J Adv Pract Oncol 2017;8:9–16 | | © 2017 Harborside™



The clinical and scientific advances relative to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) over the last 5 years paint a picture of optimism. However, researchers, clinicians, patients and their caregivers will be challenged to not only continue this work, but to elevate it to realize the unforeseen improvements in the diagnosis, risk-adapted treatment, and ongoing clinical management of CLL. Much of this progress is a result of improved understanding of molecular pathways and targets key to the pathogenesis of CLL. Innovations in creating therapies that exploit actionable targets within these pathways and the tumor microenvironment have led to several recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals for CLL. Managing these therapies, mitigating adverse events, and supporting the patient and their caregiver are key to improved clinical outcomes and quality of life. The challenge for the advanced practitioner in oncology is to embrace these innovations, commit to life-long learning, and actively engage in the molecular revolution in cancer treatment. The Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology (APSHO) has embarked on a new initiative aimed at supporting this challenge. Priming the Pump (PTP) is an APSHO educational and practice initiative aimed at creating an innovative, interactive, and multifaceted infrastructure of knowledge supporting the move toward personalized precision medicine. This supplement aims to create an initial element of the PTP-CLL infrastructure. 

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