Cancer Home > What Is Chlorambucil Used For?

If you have chronic lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, or Hodgkin's lymphoma, you may receive a medication called chlorambucil. This prescription drug is not a cure, but it can help relieve symptoms and interrupt the multiplication of cancer cells. It is approved only for use in adults. Chlorambucil may also be used off-label to treat other conditions, such as lymphoma in children, rheumatoid arthritis, or ovarian cancer.

An Overview of Uses for Chlorambucil

Chlorambucil (Leukeran®) is a prescription chemotherapy medication approved to treat people with certain types of blood cancer. Specifically, it is used in the treatment of the following cancers:

Using Chlorambucil for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Leukemia is a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow, the middle part of certain bones that produces blood cells. Leukemia occurs when the bone marrow produces a large amount of abnormal blood cells that grow out of control. These abnormal blood cells eventually crowd out normal, healthy blood cells. This can lead to serious problems, including bleeding, anemia, and infection.
Leukemia is generally classified by how quickly the disease develops and worsens (chronic versus acute), and by the type of blood cell affected (lymphoid versus myeloid) (see Types of Leukemia). Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (also sometimes called chronic lymphatic leukemia, or CLL) is a slow-growing leukemia that starts in the lymphocytes.
Chlorambucil does not cure CLL but may help reduce symptoms. This is known as palliative care.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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