CLL Support Association
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Bone Marrow Biopsy ?

My husband is about to have round 5 of BR chemotherapy tomorrow ...after his CT scan last week his Consultant said blood results, lymph nodes , spleen are all good ...I asked approximately how long patients usually have before they need more treatment and she said about 2 to 4 years ( I hoped it would be longer ) ...It made me wonder today why my husband has never had a bone marrow biopsy ...wouldn't this indicated how his CLL is progressing ( or receding) ..I assume they can't see this on a CT scan ?

As always, thanks for any advice ...I would be lost without this site x

4 Replies

Bone Marrows are not normally done in many cases as the medics concentrate on what is in the bloods.

Also the remission time would be based upon average records and as you know we are all different it could be much longer!

BMB would be done prior to any drugs trial to calculate results.

The BMB would measure any residual disease in the marrow and give a better idea of the depth of remission.

If you are concerned I would ask why this has not been suggested for your husband.

You never know there may be a good reason if not ask for one to see how he stands.



Thank you for your good advice Geoff ...I will ask about a BMB once he has finished BR...maybe there is a good reason why they are not suggesting it as you have pointed out.


Alice -- First of all I must point out that every CLLer is different and of course each Haematologist will have his / her bag of treatments / drugs. (So I can only talk about my reactions / experience!!)

I had 6 rounds B + R chemotherapy treatment in July 13 - Dec 13 -- BUT in addition as part of a Clinical Trial was given Idelalisib and continued with it to-date.

Idelalisib more as a maintenance drug which in simple terms was once explained to me as a drug that "continues to squeeze the nodes and push the CLL cells into the blood stream where your immune system can attack them".

This should mean that the time to my next treatment is going to be extended -- by how much is still being evaluated.

It might be worth discussing these type of drugs with your consultant?

And as Cammie says -- ask the questions !!

By the way I see that you are living near where I grew up -- South Bucks (the Chalfonts.)

Family trips to Windsor / Castle / River Trips were always a joy.

Wexham Park was our local big hospital.

May your God be with you?



Thank you Marty...I like the idea of maintenance with Idelalisib..I doubt my husband will get it at he was not a suitable candidate for a trial. Windsor is a lovely place to live and he is going to Wexham for his's a very small world wishes to you x


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