Relapsed CLL is the term for disease that responded to therapy but, after 6 or more months, stopped responding.
Refractory disease is the term for CLL that does not result in a remission (but may be stable) or disease that gets worse within 6 months of the last treatment.
People who are treated for relapsed or refractory CLL often have good quality years of remission after more treatment. Treatment guidelines for people with relapsed CLL are generally the same as treatment guidelines for newly diagnosed people. When symptoms develop, treatments similar to those used initially can be considered.
Drug therapy that can be used to treat relapsed or refractory CLL includes
- Alemtuzumab (Campath®)
- Ibrutinib (Imbruvica®)
- Idelalisib (Zydelig®)
- Ofatumumab (Arzerra®)
- Rituximab (Rituxan®)
- Venetoclax (Venclexta™)
For information about the drugs mentioned on this page, visit Drug Listings.
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's free booklet, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.