Treatment of Relapsed/Refractory Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Adults

Curr Oncol Rep. 2016 Jun;18(6):39. doi: 10.1007/s11912-016-0519-8.


Patients with relapsed and refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have a dismal prognosis with less than 10 % of patients surviving 5 years. Most such patients cannot be rescued with currently available therapies, whatever the initial treatment they receive. Therefore, there is an urgent need for novel treatment options. Fortunately, over the past several years, an improved understanding of the biology of the disease has allowed the identification of rational molecular targets for therapeutic endeavors and the emergence of novel therapies has sparked great interest. This review will discuss the current treatment landscape for adult patients with relapsed and/or refractory ALL.

Keywords: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Blinatumomab; Chimeric antigen receptor-T; Relapsed/refractory.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / metabolism
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / metabolism
  • Prognosis


  • Antineoplastic Agents