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Prolymphocytic leukaemia (PLL)

Prolymphocytic leukaemia (PLL) is a specific type of leukaemia.

Blood cells are formed in the bone marrow, which is spongy tissue found inside bones. Blood-forming stem cells divide to produce either more stem cells or immature cells that become mature blood cells over time. A blood stem cell may become a myeloid stem cell or a lymphoid stem cell.

A myeloid stem cell becomes one of three types of mature blood cells:

A lymphoid stem cell becomes a lymphoblast cell and then one of three types of lymphocytes (white blood cells):

Prolymphocytic leukaemia (PLL) affects B lymphocytes in about four out of five case. About one in five cases of PLL affects T lymphocytes. The cells seen in the blood are large immature lymphocytes called prolymphocytes.

PLL is similar to CLL but affects a more immature cell type.

  • Published: Aug 2016
  • Next planned review: Aug 2018