On a Cancer Research Breakthrough, by Leonard Vincent LombardoLeonard Vincent Lombardo is the founder and manager of the Leonard Vincent Lombardo Leukemia Foundation, an organization that raises funds for bone marrow transplant patients. Here, he describes a breakthrough in the study of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL.CLL affects the lymphoid white blood cells in a patient's system. It typically grows slowly and can exist in the blood for years before it reaches a level that requires treatment. However, in some patients, the cancer cells multiply quickly and must be addressed immediately. The two types are typically considered by scientists to be quite different.However, scientists have recently found that the cells in both types of CLL exhibit the same behavior and use the same genes at the time when the disease becomes active. These scientists have now identified a subnetwork of genetic material that, when examined, serve as a guide to the probable progression of the disease. This discovery is expected to have a significant impact on the monitoring and treatment of CLL patients.