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Current Salvage Therapy Options for Relapsed/Refractory CLL

Neil E. Kay, MD
Published Online:8:33 PM, Thu May 10, 2018

Neil E. Kay, MD, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, addresses the “Big 4” in salvage therapies for patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), including a newer therapy coming down the pipeline now.

Based on findings from clinical trials, Kay says the 4 major salvage therapies right now include ibrutinib (Imbruvica), venetoclax (Venclexta), idelalisib(Zydelig)/rituximab (Rituxan), and allogeneic bone marrow transplant. While it remains unclear in which order to administer these treatments, a wise decision can be made based off a patient’s age, comorbidities, and treatment goals.

These are all reasonable choices for salvage therapy, Kay says, however, allogeneic bone marrow transplant is associated with morbidity and mortality.
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