CLL Treatment by Stage
In cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL, treatment may vary by stage (or extent) of the disease. For instance, treatment of stage 0 CLL usually involves watchful waiting. In stages I-IV, CLL treatment may include watchful waiting, monoclonal antibody therapy, chemotherapy, low-dose radiation therapy, or a combination of treatments. For people with refractory cases of the cancer, CLL treatment by stage may include participating in clinical trials involving chemotherapy with stem cell transplant or new leukemia treatments.
- The chronic lymphocytic leukemia stage (see Stages of CLL)
- Red blood cell, white blood cell, and platelet blood counts
- Whether the liver, spleen, or lymph nodes are larger than normal
- Whether the chronic lymphocytic leukemia has come back and how it responded to treatment the first time
- Whether there are chronic lymphocytic leukemia symptoms, such as fever, chills, or weight loss.
Treatment of stage 0 chronic lymphocytic leukemia is usually watchful waiting.
Treatment of stage I, stage II, stage III, and stage IV CLL may include:
- Watchful waiting when there are few or no CLL symptoms
- Monoclonal antibody therapy
- Leukemia chemotherapy treatment with one or more drugs, with or without steroids or monoclonal antibody therapy
- Low-dose external radiation therapy to areas of the body where cancer is found, such as the spleen or lymph nodes.