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Acalabrutinib May Be an Alternative to Ibrutinib For Treatment of CLL

Lori Leslie, MD
Published Online:10:00 PM, Mon January 6, 2020


Lori Leslie, MD, a lymphoma oncologist at John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, discusses toxicities and outcomes observed in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) treated with acalabrutinib (Calquence) in real-word clinics.

New agents are entering the treatment landscape for CLL. Acalabrutinib, a BTK inhibitor, is 1 of the newer drugs that has been approved for the treatment of CLL in the frontline and the relapsed/refractory settings. The difference between acalabrutinib and the other BTK inhibitor, ibrutinib (Imbruvica), is the toxicity profile. Some individuals have become intolerant to ibrutinib, and alternative therapies are needed.

Researchers at John Theurer Cancer Center conducted a real-word outcomes study to evaluate patients treated with acalabrutinib due to ibrutinib intolerance. They discovered that the rate of treatment discontinuation among patients given acalabrutinib was low. This finding suggests that acalabrutinib is a well-tolerated alternative for patients who have developed an intolerance to ibrutinib, says Leslie.

As new agents continue to enter the treatment landscape, Leslie explains that the importance of real-world data is becoming more apparent. Real-world data can offer quicker results than comparative studies that have to mature before results can be shared. Studying large cohorts of patients treated in the real-world setting can answer questions about sequencing, adverse events, and rates of infection. Overall, this can help physicians understand which patients benefit from a certain sequence versus another sequence and also helps them to determine the cost of therapy, Leslie says.
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