Survival trends in chronic lymphocytic leukemia across treatment eras: US SEER database analysis (1985–2017)

Neda Alrawashdh, Joann Sweasy, Brian Erstad, Ali McBride, Daniel O. Persky, Ivo Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In this population-based study, we used the SEER database (1985–2015) to examine survival outcomes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients followed up to the era of advanced treatments including targeted therapies. Data were extracted for patients 15 years or older with a primary diagnosis of CLL. A period analysis was performed to estimate 5- and 10-year relative survival rates for patients diagnosed during different calendar periods from 1985 to 2015. A mixture cure model was used to examine long-term survivors’ proportions among patients diagnosed in 1985–2015 and for two cohorts diagnosed in 2000–2003, followed up to 2012 and 2004–2007, and followed up to 2015. Cox proportional hazard modeling was used for the two cohorts to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of death adjusted for gender and age. The 5-year and 10-year age-adjusted relative survival rate ranged between 73.7 and 89.4% and from 51.6% to “not reached,” respectively, for calendar periods of 1985–1989 to 2010–2014. The long-term survivor proportions varied by age and gender from 0 to 59%. The HRs (95%CI) for the 2004–2007 cohort in comparison to the 2000–2003 cohort were 0.58 (0.43–0.78), 0.58 (0.48–0.70), 0.57 (0.49–0.0.67), 0.68 (0.54–0.85), and 0.83 (0.68–1.02) for the age categories of 45–54, 55–64, 65–74, 75–84, and ≥ 85 years, respectively. Overall, relative survival improved significantly for CLL patients diagnosed between 1985 and 2015. These improvements were markedly better following the introduction of targeted therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2501-2512
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • CLL
  • Cured survivors
  • Overall survival
  • SEER
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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