Anaplastic large cell lymphoma includes a subset of highly aggressive tumours and has a relapse rate of 30% at 2 years. Relapsed patients often have poor clinical outcome. The use of antisense oligonucleotides to down-regulate Bcl-2 protein can reverse chemotherapy resistance. The authors describe an 11-year-old boy with recurrent anaplastic large cell lymphoma who had received double high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation, had refractory disease and then had achieved long-term remission with the use of an antisense oligonucleotides in combination with vinblastine and topotecan. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.