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Treatment of relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia in adults

Richard A Larson, MD
Section Editor
Bob Lowenberg, MD, PhD
Deputy Editor
Alan G Rosmarin, MD


Over 80 percent of adult patients with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) will attain a complete remission (CR) with intensive induction chemotherapy. After further consolidation therapy and maintenance chemotherapy, less than half will have long-term leukemia-free survival; the majority of adults with ALL will ultimately relapse. In addition, up to 20 percent will have primary resistant disease.

This topic review will review the treatment of relapsed or refractory ALL in adults. The following related subjects are discussed separately:

Induction therapy for ALL in adults. (See "Induction therapy for Philadelphia chromosome negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia in adults".)

Post-remission therapy for ALL. (See "Post-remission therapy for Philadelphia chromosome negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia in adults".)

Treatment of ALL in children. (See "Overview of the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children and adolescents".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 21, 2017.
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