How to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia?
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) progresses slowly. Not all patients need treatments after diagnosis, especially those at early stages. The main treatments include:
- Chemotherapy. Purine analogs and Alkylating agents are the two major types of chemo drugs used to treat CLL.
- Monoclonal antibodies. These are man-made immune system proteins targeting the CD20 antigen. Such drugs include Rituximab, Obinutuzumab and Ofatumumab.
- Targeted therapy. Such drugs attack one or more specific targets on or in cancer cells
- Supportive care. It is used to treat other problems caused by the cancer and its treatment.
- Stem cell transplant. Higher doses of chemotherapy are used to treat CLL. However, they could cause damage to bone marrow and its effect remain unknown.
Other treatments include leukapheresis, surgery, or radiation therapy, but they are used much less.
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