Leukemia Treatments

There are several leukemia treatment options available. Your physician will determine which approach is right for you. Treatment options include:

  • Radiation therapy: In conjunction with chemotherapy, your physician might use high-energy rays to kill or shrink cancer cells in the blood or lymph system.
  • Immunotherapy: Also known as targeted antibody therapy, this treatment uses lab-created antibodies to fight cancer cells.
  • Transplant: Specialists in oncology and hematology (blood) may use bone marrow or peripheral stem cell transplants for leukemia.

Palliative medicine

Side effects from cancer treatment can impact your quality of life and your body’s ability to respond to treatment. Northwestern Medicine is home to a diverse team of palliative medicine specialists who work with your oncologist to help relieve your pain and manage your symptoms. The palliative medicine specialists:

  • Treat pain and other physical symptoms of cancer, such as fatigue, nausea, trouble sleeping, poor appetite, breathing difficulties and weight loss
  • Treat emotional symptoms, such as depression and anxiety
  • Improve your body’s ability to tolerate cancer treatments
  • Help you better understand tests, procedures and options
  • Guide you and those who care for you to helpful outside resources

From your initial diagnosis throughout your care, our palliative medicine team can help you remain stronger in your fight against cancer and feel better, every step of the way.


Treatments for leukemia depend on your age, overall health, the type and extent of the disease and your tolerance for therapies.