Cyclosporine A in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: dual anti-leukemic and immunosuppressive role?

Research paper by S J SJ Wright, M J MJ Keating

Indexed on: 01 Dec '95Published on: 01 Dec '95Published in: Leukemia & lymphoma


The association of hemolytic anemia and other autoimmune cytopenias with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is well known. The etiology of these immune syndromes is still uncertain, despite evidence that the putative cell of origin of the B-CLL cell produces naturally occurring autoantibodies. Cyclosporine A is effective in treating the immune manifestations associated with CLL and, occasionally, has shown anti-leukemic activity. We report two cases in which cyclosporine A treatment of autoimmune hemolytic anemia resulted in reduction of CLL cell burden. We then discuss the possible mechanism of action of cyclosporine A and the nature of the autoimmune processes involved.