Send to

Choose Destination
Lancet Oncol. 2003 Feb;4(2):86-94.

Advances in the treatment of hairy-cell leukaemia.

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Bonn, Germany.


Hairy-cell leukaemia (HCL) is an uncommon B-cell chronic lymphoproliferative disorder that accounts for about 2% of all leukaemias. Although the disease is generally indolent in its natural course, the majority of patients require treatment for life-threatening infections due to pancytopenia or symptomatic splenomegaly. During the past 20 years, remarkable progress has been made in the treatment of HCL. Since the introduction of interferon-alpha, splenectomy, which was formerly the standard therapy, has been rarely used. With the purine analogues cladribine and pentostatin, response rates are even better than with interferon-alpha and long-lasting remissions can be achieved in most patients. Therefore, these agents are now considered the treatment of choice. Recently, immunotherapeutic approaches which use monoclonal antibodies have increased the number of therapeutic options for HCL and offer promising salvage strategies for patients who relapse or who are refractory to treatment with purine analogues. In this review the different treatment options available are discussed and recommendations for the clinical management of the HCL are summarised.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center