The characteristics and mode of action of ibrutinib for CLL

Jeffrey Jones, MD, MPH from the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH discusses the characteristics and mode of action of ibrutinib in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Ibrutinib targets the B-cell receptor signaling pathway, specifically inhibiting the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK). BTK is mutated in patients with X-linked agammaglobulinemia and consequently born without mature B-cells. From this knowledge it was hypothesized that pharmacological inhibition of BTK could eradicate abnormally functioning B-cells, and so ibrutinib was developed. Ibrutinib is orally bioavailable and only needs to be taken once a day, with a lasting effect of 24 hours. According to Dr Jones most patients see improvement in symptoms soon after treatment, followed by marked regression of palpable lymphadenopathy and a rise in blood lymphocyte count. Dr Jones further discusses the toxicity of ibrutinib. Recorded at the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2016 Annual Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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