Treatment options for newly diagnosed patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Curr Hematol Rep. 2004 Jan;3(1):47-53.


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is an indolent B-cell malignancy for which early intervention has not been shown to extend survival. However, there are many agents available that are active in this disease. Alkylating agents, the purine analogs, and monoclonal antibodies have all been shown to result in high response rates in patients with previously treated and untreated CLL. These classes of agents have been combined based on in vitro data demonstrating synergism. The purine analogs alone or in combination with alkylating agents and monoclonal antibodies result in greater response rates compared with alkylating agent-based therapy alone. However, improvement in overall survival and cure of patients with CLL has yet to be realized with these available regimens. The best initial therapy of patients with CLL remains a matter of debate.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alemtuzumab
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / therapeutic use
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Synergism
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / mortality
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Rituximab
  • Vidarabine / administration & dosage
  • Vidarabine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vidarabine / therapeutic use


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Alemtuzumab
  • Rituximab
  • Vidarabine
  • fludarabine