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Point mutations are introduced into the variable regions of mature B cells during the germinal center reaction in lymph nodes via somatic hypermutation. Clonal IGHV gene hypermutation status provides important prognostic information for patients with CLL and small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). Hypermutation of the IGH variable region is strongly predictive of a good prognosis, while lack of variants predicts a poorer prognosis.

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