Treatment for hairy cell leukaemia

There are different treatments for hairy cell leukaemia. You might have one treatment, or a combination of treatments. Chemotherapy is the main treatment. 

Treatment options for hairy cell leukaemia

There are different treatment options for hairy cell leukaemia. The main treatment is chemotherapy. 

Chemotherapy for hairy cell leukaemia

Chemotherapy uses anti cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. It is the main treatment for hairy cell leukaemia. 

Targeted cancer drugs and immunotherapy for hairy cell leukaemia

You might have the targeted drug called rituximab for hairy cell leukaemia. You usually have it with chemotherapy. 

Surgery to remove your spleen (splenectomy)

Surgery is not a common treatment for hairy cell leukaemia. But rarely, some people need an operation to remove their spleen (splenectomy). 

Treatment when hairy cell leukaemia comes back

When hairy cell leukaemia comes back it is called a relapse. The next treatment you have is called second line treatment.

Supportive treatments for hairy cell leukaemia

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

Follow up for hairy cell leukaemia

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

Research and clinical trials into hairy cell leukaemia

Researchers around the world are looking into the causes and treatment of hairy cell leukaemia. 

Last reviewed: 
21 Oct 2021
Next review due: 
21 Oct 2024