Trial of ibrutinib with bendamustine and rituximab in CLL: results and study design

Andrew Zelenetz, MD, PhD, from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY discusses the clinical trials of bendamustine and rituximab plus placebo vs bendamustine and rituximab plus ibrutinib (NCT01611090). This trial is similar in design to a trial looking at this combination but with idelalisib instead of ibrutinib (NCT01569295). Both trials showed a highly significant difference in progression-free survival (PFS) when adding idelalisib or ibrutinib and an overall survival (OS) advantage. Dr Zelenetz discusses the importance of adding a small molecular inhibitor such as idelalisib or ibrutinib to treatment. He further discusses how both trials were missing an arm, i.e. just combining idelalisib or ibrutinib with rituximab, and the problem with doing cross-trial comparisons. Finally, Dr Zelenetz also talks about the issue of drug affordability and the challenge of finding better drug combinations.
Recorded at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the British Society of Haematology (BSH) and International Society of Hematology (ISH), held in Glasgow, Scotland.

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