Leukemia is a clonal malignant hematopoietic stem cell disease. It is the sixth most lethal cancer and accounts for 4% of all cancers. The main form of treatment for leukemia is chemotherapy. While some cancer types with a higher incidence than leukemia, such as lung and gastric cancer, have shown a sharp decline in mortality rates in recent years, leukemia has not followed this trend. Drug resistance is often regarded as the main clinical obstacle to effective chemotherapy in patients diagnosed with leukemia. Many resistance mechanisms have now been identified, and multidrug resistance (MDR) is considered the most important and prevalent mechanism involved in the failure of chemotherapy in leukemia. In order to reverse MDR and improve leukemia prognosis, effective detection methods are needed to identify drug resistance genes at initial diagnosis. This article provides a comprehensive overview of published approaches for the detection of MDR in leukemia. Identification of relevant MDR genes and methods for early detection of these genes will be needed in order to treat leukemia more effectively.