Skip to main content


B lymphocyte or B cell

A type of white blood cell lymphocyte that circulates in the blood and lymphand is normally involved in producing antibodies to fight infection. Read more

Basophil granulocytes ( Basophils)

are the least common of the granulocytes, representing about 0.01% to 0.3% of circulating white blood cells which are involved in allergic reactions and inflammation.


is used in the treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) and lymphomas. It belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

Binet Staging

The Binet staging system uses the number of lymphoid tissue sites affected along with the haemoglobin and platelet count so that:

Stage A = 0-2 lymphoid sites affected

Stage B = 3-5 lymphoid sites affected

Stage C = Haemoglobin less than 10g/dl or platelets less than 100 x 109/l.

In the Binet system the 5 lymphoid sites are neck, armpit and groin nodes along with spleen and liver enlargement. So if both sides of the neck are involved this is still only 1 site. Likewise if there is more than 1 node in a given area eg right side of groin, this is still only 1 site. This staging system was described before we had access to CT scanning so nodes identified on the CT scan outside the 5 areas described in the Binet system really should not be counted in a patients initial staging.

The Binet system is used more widely in Europe. The Rai system is used more often in the United States.


A small sample of fresh tissue, for example lymph node or bone marrow, which is taken for testing in a laboratory to establish or confirm an exact diagnosis of disease.

Blast Cells

are new immature blood cells of any type. Some blasts stay in the bone marrow to mature. Some travel through the blood system to other parts of the body before they mature. Even leukaemic white cells mature to some extent. So it is possible to have leukaemic blasts – in other words very young leukaemic white blood cells.

Blood cells

There are three main types of cells in the blood stream:

  • red cells which carry oxygen around the body
  • white cells – which fight infections
  • platelets – which help prevent bleeding.

The correct balance between each cell type must be maintained.

Blood count

A routine test. A small blood sample is taken to estimate the number and types of cells in the blood.

Bone marrow

The tissue which produces the blood cells. It is found in the hollow cavities of many of the bones of the body. Bone marrow contains the stem cells from which red and white blood cells and plateletsall blood cells develop. Examination of the bone marrow is an important part of the diagnosis of leukaemia and the monitoring of treatment.

Bone marrow aspirate

A small amount of bone marrow taken under local or general anaesthetic from either the hip bone (pelvis) or breast bone (sternum). The cells in the sample are then examined under the microscope to identify any abnormality in the developing blood cells. A trephine biopsy, may be taken at the same time.

Bone marrow transplant (BMT)

A bone marrow transplant is one type of stem cell transplant. Most transplants now use peripheral blood stem cells, rather than bone marrow.

Bone marrow is the spongy substance in the centre of the bones where are made.

Skip to content