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ICML 2017 | Ibrutinib in treatment for refractory or relapsed CLL

George Follows, MA, PhD, MRCP, FRCPath from Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK discusses treating the UK CLL Forum of patients with ibrutinib, and the two posters he presented on the subject at the International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML) 2017 in Lugano, Switzerland. Ibrutinib is a powerful drug that has changed the landscape of treating CLL in patients with relapsed or refractory CLL. The first poster showed results that discontinuations rates have reduced over time, and in patients who have had dose reductions and treatment breaks within the first year, no change in overall survival has been found. The second poster looked at overall survival rates of individuals discontinuing ibrutinib within the first year, depending on whether it is infections or non-infectious adverse events. It found that patients who discontinued treatment due to infections or Richter’s transformation, had a poorer survival rate. It also found extremely poor survival rates in patients who discontinued treatment in the first year due to progressive CLL. Patients who discontinued for this reason after the first year showed a significant improvement in survival. Access to venetoclax significantly improves survival in patients who are relapsing beyond one year, and access to the medication is improving.

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