What are the treatment options for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)? 

The type of treatment a patient receives highly depends on the severity of the condition. Some patients with CLL notice improvements with one method of treatment, while others are treated with a combination. Treatment options available include: 
 
 
Chemotherapy refers to the use of chemical agents whose main effect is either to kill or slow the reproduction of rapidly multiplying lymphocytic leukemia cells. This results in shrinkage or death of lymphocytic leukemia cells. Drugs can be delivered through a vein in your arm (intravenously), or they can be taken orally
 
 
Radiation therapy damages the DNA of lymphocytic leukemia cells by the use of high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation. It may be an alternative to surgery or used in combination with surgery or chemotherapy. 
 
 
Targeted drug therapy works by targeting specific abnormalities in lymphocytic leukemia cells. This form of treatment is often combined with chemotherapy drugs. 
 
 
Biological therapy (immunotherapy) uses drugs and vaccines to harness the immune system’s natural ability to fight cancer, in the same way it fights off infections.
 
 
Bone marrow stem cell transplants use strong chemotherapy drugs to kill the stem cells in your bone marrow that are creating diseased lymphocytes. Then healthy adult blood stem cells from a donor are infused into your blood, where they travel to your bone marrow and begin making healthy blood cells.
 
 
Splenectomy is surgery to remove the spleen. 
 
 
chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) treatment
 
 

Sources
  • "Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 30 June 2017.
  • "Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Symptoms & Treatment." Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic, 29 Oct. 2009. Web. 30 June 2017.

 

From Our Blog: Bone Marrow Donation Process - The Gift of a Lifetime
Marrow transplants are used to treat many serious illnesses including sickle cell anemia and a range of cancers including leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, malignant lymphomas, multiple myeloma, and solid tumors. If the transplant is successful, the newly transplanted marrow makes a home in the recipient’s bones and begins to divide into more stem cells and produce normal healthy blood cells.  If you are interested in becoming a bone marrow donor, this infographic should give you a general idea of what the process entails:
 
bone marrow donation process - CLL treatment infographic

 

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