Refractory and Relapsed
Some patients still have leukemia cells in their bone marrow after acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment. This is called refractory leukemia. Treatment options include:
- treatment with drugs not used during your past treatment
- a clinical trial
- an allogeneic stem cell transplantation
Some patients have a return of ALL cells in the marrow and a decrease in normal blood cells after remission. This is called a relapse.
If you have relapsed ALL, you may be given more chemotherapy with the same or different drugs used previously during your treatment. Some patients may also have a stem cell transplantation or be a part of a clinical trial.
Your therapy options depend on two factors:
- your remission's duration
- the cytogenetic findings that reveal abnormal changes to the structure of chromosomes in your leukemia cells