Minimal residual disease negative complete response (MRD-negative CR) provides an early marker for time to treatment failure (TTF) in CLL treated with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR). MRD was assessed after four FCR cycles (FCR4); MRD-negative CR patients discontinued treatment. Fifty-two patients (35M; 17F) were enrolled. Eighteen (18/52; 34.6%) patients reached MRD-negative CR after FCR4 and 29/52 (55.8%) were MRD-negative CR at end of treatment (EOT). Median TTF was 71.1 months (95% CI 61.3-84.1 months), with median overall survival not reached. Mutated immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangements (IGHV) were associated with early MRD-negative remissions, translating into prolonged TTF. Unmutated-IGHV, mutated-SF3B1 and mutated-NOTCH1 were associated with shortened TTF. No TTF difference was observed between patients in MRD-negative CR after four versus six cycles (82.2 versus 85.3 months, p¿=¿.6306). Abbreviated FCR therapy is effective for patients achieving early MRD-negative remissions. Interim MRD assessment assists in personalizing therapy and reducing chemotherapy-associated toxicity.