The Transformation of Treatment in CLL: A Q & A With Dr. William G. Wierda
William G. Wierda, MD, PhD
The conference occurred within days of the FDA’s accelerated approval of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) for patients with CLL who have received at least one prior therapy. Ibrutinib, the first Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor on the market, was approved in November for the treatment of patients with mantle cell lymphoma who have received at least 1 prior therapy.
TABLE. Targeted CLL Therapies in Development1,2
aSponsors and collaborators may not be participating in every clinical trial for a given agent.
bIbrutinib is FDA-approved for patients with CLL who have received at least 1 prior therapy. CLL indicates chronic lymphocytic leukemia; del, deletion on short arm of chromosome.
1. Wierda WG. 17p del CLL patients—first-line vs relapsed/refractory. Presented at: 18th Annual International Congress on Hematologic Malignancies: Focus on Leukemias, Lymphomas, and Myeloma. February 14-15, 2014; New York, NY.
2. NIH Clinical Trials Registry. www.ClinicalTrials.gov.
The four major groups of inhibitors target BTK, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), the spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk), and BCL2 proteins.
“It is the whole class of agents that is transformative,”said Wierda, a professor and center medical director in the department of leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, who also served on the program committee for the conference. “We’re entering a phase of a more targeted treatment approach and hopefully a less chemoimmunotherapy/chemotherapybased era.