Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment

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Living with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. At UVA Health, you'll find experts to support you through treatment. 

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment at UVA Health

At UVA Health, you'll find Virginia's first National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. This puts us among the nation's top cancer centers. You'll also find experts who will take the time to get to know you and your family well. We make sure you understand your disease. We tailor care around you.

Your care will be overseen by a hematology oncologist. These experts focus their careers on treating patients with leukemia and other blood cancers.

These experts work well with a team of specialists to make sure you get the comprehensive care you need. We offer all the CLL treatment options. These include:

  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Monoclonal antibody therapy
  • Chemotherapy with stem cell transplant 

We've achieved excellent outcomes with our stem cell transplants. And for the most aggressive forms of leukemia, we offer clinical trials for patients. Clinical trials are how we find even better treatments than we have today.

What Is CLL?

CLL begins in mature white blood cells, causing the bone marrow to make too many of them. CLL may develop slowly and cause little or no trouble. It may also progress to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a more aggressive form of leukemia. 

CLL can also be associated with the presence of chronic lymphocytic lymphoma. This is a small cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The abnormal cells in both cases may come from the same parent cell source. As a result, one of the signs of CLL may be swelling in the lymph nodes.


The doctor may check for swelling of the liver, spleen or lymph nodes. 

You may need to have tests of your bodily fluids, including blood tests, bone marrow biopsies and cytogenetic analysis.

Your doctor may take imaging scans, like CT scans or ultrasound, to see your bodily structures. 

    Treatment for Side Effects  

    Both leukemia and therapy can result in:

    • Anemia
    • Reduced blood clotting 
    • Higher infection rates

    We'll closely monitor your care to help you manage any side effects.