Developments that are changing the treatment of CLL – current and future drugs

Stephan Stilgenbauer, MD, PhD of Ulm University, Ulm, Germany, discusses the development of drugs for treatment in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). He starts by mentioning that clinicians shouldn’t forget about chemotherapy or chemoimmunotherapy, which for particular patient sub-groups such as the ones with low risk genetics or mutated IGHV genes, result in very long remission after a relatively short period of treatment. Prof. Stilgenbauer mentions ibrutinib and venetoclax and furthermore, that there are second and even third generation compounds in that direction coming down the road. He also talks about PI3K inhibitors and how after some difficulty with idelalisib, they are consolidating their value for treatment. Prof. Stilgenbauer goes on to mention CAR T-cells and other immunomodulatory agents such as PD-1 and PD-L1 antibodies that he believes may hold great promise in some CLL patients, particularly those with Richter’s transformation which is normally very difficult to treat. Overall, he believes there is a lot to be explored and understood, which can lead to even more progress. Recorded at the 2016 International Workshop of the German CLL Study Group (GCLLSG) in Cologne, Germany.

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