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EHA 2018 | The last year in CLL

Speaking from the 23rd Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2018, held in Stockholm, Sweden, John Seymour, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center, Victoria, Australia, discusses the last year in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) research, as well as his predictions for the direction the field will take in the future. He speaks about the importance of observation over treatment in early stage, asymptomatic, low tumor burden patients, as well as the use of measurable residual disease (MRD) as both a therapeutic endpoint and as a measure of clinical trial efficacy. Finally, he explores the much-discussed topic of novel agent therapies in CLL, emphasizing the importance of achieving a deep response as shown by sustained MRD negativity. Dr Seymour discusses PI3K inhibitors, BTK inhibitors and BH3 mimetics. While he says that most novel agents cannot achieve deep responses as monotherapies, he points to combination therapies with two, and even three, novel agents as the way forward in CLL treatment.