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There are different treatments for hairy cell leukaemia. You might have one treatment, or a combination of treatments. Chemotherapy is the main treatment. 

Decisions about your treatment

Find out how your doctor decides which treatment you need and about the types of treatment you might have.


Chemotherapy uses anti cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. This is the main treatment for hairy cell leukaemia.

Targeted cancer drugs and immunotherapy

Targeted cancer drugs work by targeting the differences in cancer cells that help them to grow and survive. Other drugs help the immune system to attack the cancer (immunotherapy).

Surgery to remove your spleen

Find out why you might have surgery to remove your spleen for hairy cell leukaemia.

Treatment for hairy cell leukaemia that has come back

This is called second line treatment.

Follow up

Find out about follow up appointments and tests after treatment for hairy cell leukaemia.

Research and clinical trials

Read about the latest research into hairy cell leukaemia and see how you can take part in clinical trials.

Last reviewed: 
10 Nov 2020
Next review due: 
10 Nov 2023

Information and help

Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer