Some patients still have ALL cells in their bone marrow after treatment. This is called refractory leukemia. Some patients have a return of ALL cells in the marrow and a decrease in normal blood cells after remission. This is called a relapse.
If you have relapsed ALL, you may be given more chemotherapy with the same or different drugs used previously during your treatment. Some patients may also have a stem cell transplantation or be a part of a clinical trial.
Your therapy options depend on two factors:
- Your remission's duration
- The cytogenetic findings that reveal abnormal changes to the structure of chromosomes in your leukemia cells
If you have refractory ALL, treatment options include: