Plasma Cell Leukemia: Definition, Presentation, and Treatment

Michael Tveden Gundesen, Thomas Lund, Hanne E.H. Moeller, Niels Abildgaard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

347 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose of Review: We discuss current topics on the definition of plasma cell leukemia and the distinction between plasma cell leukemia and multiple myeloma. Moreover, we review the latest literature on how to treat plasma cell leukemia. Recent Findings: Plasma cell leukemia is clinically and genetically distinct from multiple myeloma. Plasma cell leukemia is defined by the observation in blood of more than 20% clonal plasma cells by differential count of the leucocytes or by counting more than 2 × 109 per liter circulating clonal plasma cells. However, patients with lower levels of circulating plasma cells have the same adverse prognosis, which challenges the disease definition. Survival has improved after implementation of high-dose chemotherapy with stem-cell support, bortezomib, and lenalidomide in the treatment; yet, the prognosis remains poor. The results of allo-transplants have been disappointing. Summary: The diagnostic criteria of PCL are currently discussed in the international myeloma community. Despite some improvement in survival, the prognosis remains adverse. New, more targeted treatment modalities, including immunotherapies, will hopefully improve the outcome in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalCurrent Oncology Reports
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Cytogenetics
  • Diagnosis
  • Molecular biology
  • Plasma cell leukemia
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasma Cell Leukemia: Definition, Presentation, and Treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this