Current research into drug treatments for CLL – specifically ibrutinib, idelalisib and venetoclax

Jacqueline Barrientos, MD from Northwell Health, New York, NY discusses drug treatment options for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), specifically ibrutinib, idelalisib and venetoclax. Current research on these drugs looks promising, however, side effects that have not been seen before, are arising. In studies with ibrutinib the data is showing higher incidence of minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity over time. Idelalisib research is demonstrating that in frontline, a patient’s chance of developing an autoimmune complication or infection is very high. Consequently in Europe, idelalisib is not recommended for frontline therapy and clinical trials for frontline therapy have been ceased. Finally, venetoclax studies have stressed the importance of increasing dosage over time, if not it can cause undue toxicity to the patient mainly thrombolysis syndrome; therefore, it is important to monitor patients. Dr Barrientos also discusses two new upcoming drugs: acalabrutinib and TGR-1202. Recorded at the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2016 Annual Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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