Overcoming the challenges of evolving standards of care in CLL: advice for community physicians

Nicole Lamanna

Nicole Lamanna, MD from Columbia University Medical Centre, New York, NY discusses the benefits of using mutational analysis in the clinic to evaluate chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a topic covered during the session on ‘Progression/Evolution of CLL: Mechanisms and Therapies’, which she co-chaired at the International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (iwCLL) 2017 held in New York, NY. Dr Lamanna describes how it is important for community doctors to be able to evaluate CLL appropriately and to be able to carry out routine testing that could help to better differentiate risk features or mutations in CLL patients. During the session, experts discussed commercially available lymphoid panels which can identify some of the known CLL mutations. This knowledge would be beneficial when devising appropriate treatment plans for patients. Further to that, experts expressed the possible advantages of being able to routinely test patients and monitor their mutations; thus, allowing physicians to intervene in a patient’s treatment when necessary, for example before resistance is developed. Dr Lamanna emphasizes that such practices are not common in clinics at the moment.

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