Treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

You may not need treatment straight away if you have early stage CLL and you don't have symptoms. If you need treatment, you might have chemotherapy or a targeted cancer drug, or a combination of both.

Treatment options for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

The main treatments for CLL are targeted cancer drugs or chemotherapy. You might have a combination of these treatments. 

First treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

You may not need treatment straight away. Your team decides depending on how advanced your CLL is (the stage) and your symptoms. 

Treatment when chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) comes back

When CLL comes back it is called a relapse. You might need more treatment.

How you have targeted drugs and chemotherapy for CLL

Treatment can be as tablets or as an injection into a vein as a drip (intravenously).

Supportive treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

CLL and its treatment can cause problems. Supportive treatments can help to either prevent or control these problems.  

Stem cell transplant for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

A  stem cell transplant isn't a common treatment for CLL. You usually have stem cells from another person (a donor).

Radiotherapy for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

Radiotherapy uses high energy waves similar to x-rays to kill cancer cells. You don’t often have it for CLL.

Surgery to remove your spleen

Rarely, your doctor might suggest an operation to remove your spleen if you have chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Follow up for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

You have regular follow up appointments to check how you are and to see whether you have any problems or worries. 

Last reviewed: 
24 Sep 2021
Next review due: 
24 Sep 2024