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Cancer Health Center

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Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options for Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Untreated Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Standard treatment of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during the remission induction phase includes the following:

Recommended Related to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Childhood Leukemia

Childhood leukemia, the most common type of cancer in children and teens, is a cancer of the white blood cells. Abnormal white blood cells form in the bone marrow. They quickly travel through the bloodstream and crowd out healthy cells. This increases the body's chances of infection and other problems. As tough as it is for a child to have cancer, it's good to know that most children and teens with childhood leukemia can be successfully treated.

Read the Childhood Leukemia article > >

  • Combination chemotherapy.
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy with imatinib mesylate, in certain patients. Some of these patients will also have combination chemotherapy.
  • Supportive care including antibiotics and red blood cell and platelet transfusions.
  • CNS prophylaxis therapy including chemotherapy (intrathecal and/or systemic) with or without radiation therapy to the brain.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with untreated adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Remission

Standard treatment of adult ALL during the post-remission phase includes the following:

  • Chemotherapy.
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy.
  • Chemotherapy with stem cell transplant.
  • CNS prophylaxis therapy including chemotherapy (intrathecal and/or systemic) with or without radiation therapy to the brain.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia in remission. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Recurrent Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Standard treatment of recurrent adult ALL may include the following:

  • Combination chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplant.
  • Low-dose radiation therapy as palliative care to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life.
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy with dasatinib for certain patients.

Some of the treatments being studied in clinical trials for recurrent adult ALL include the following:

  • A clinical trial of stem cell transplant using the patient's stem cells.
  • A clinical trial of biologic therapy.
  • A clinical trial of new anticancer drugs.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with recurrent adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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