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Hairy Cell Leukemia Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options for Hairy Cell Leukemia

Untreated Hairy Cell Leukemia

If the patient's blood cell counts are not too low and there are no signs or symptoms, treatment may not be needed and the patient is carefully watched for changes in his or her condition. If blood cell counts become too low or if signs or symptoms appear, initial treatment may include the following:

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  • Chemotherapy.
  • Splenectomy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with untreated hairy cell 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.

Progressive Hairy Cell Leukemia

Treatment for progressive hairy cell leukemia may include the following:

  • Chemotherapy.
  • Biologic therapy.
  • Splenectomy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and targeted therapy with a monoclonal antibody (rituximab).

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with progressive hairy cell leukemia, initial treatment. 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.

Relapsed or Refractory Hairy Cell Leukemia

Treatment of relapsed or refractory hairy cell leukemia may include the following:

  • Chemotherapy.
  • Biologic therapy.
  • Targeted therapy with a monoclonal antibody (rituximab).
  • High-dose chemotherapy.
  • A clinical trial of a new biologic therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and targeted therapy with a monoclonal antibody (rituximab).

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with refractory hairy cell 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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