RATIONALE: Diagnostic procedures that detect residual disease may predict disease relapse in
patients who have hairy cell leukemia.
PURPOSE: Diagnostic trial to determine the effectiveness of analyzing blood and bone marrow
to detect residual disease in patients who have previously treated hairy cell leukemia.
OBJECTIVES: I. Compare the sensitivity of flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, and
polymerase chain reaction in detecting minimal residual disease following therapy with
cladribine in patients with hairy cell leukemia.
OUTLINE: Blood and bone marrow samples are obtained from patients at time of bone marrow
biopsies to assess minimal residual disease using flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, and
polymerase chain reaction. Patients are followed for 2 years or until disease relapse.
PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 15 patients will be accrued for this study over 12-24 months.
DISEASE CHARACTERISTICS: Clinically documented hairy cell leukemia Active or in remission
Must have received prior cladribine and be undergoing bone marrow biopsies as follow up
PATIENT CHARACTERISTICS: Age: Over 18 Performance status: Not specified Life expectancy:
Not specified Hematopoietic: Not specified Hepatic: Not specified Renal: Not specified
PRIOR CONCURRENT THERAPY: Biologic therapy: Not specified Chemotherapy: See Disease
Characteristics No prior chemotherapy following prior cladribine Endocrine therapy: Not
specified Radiotherapy: Not specified Surgery: Not specified