Agents to Keep an Eye on for Patients With CLL


Jennifer R. Brown, MD, PhD, discusses what potential advancements are bringing excitement into the chronic lymphocytic leukemia space.

Jennifer R. Brown, MD, PhD, director of the chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) institute at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and lead investigator of the ALPINE study (NCT03734016), discusses what potential advancements are bringing excitement into the CLL space.

According to Brown, there was a lot of discussion at the 2022 ASH Annual Meeting regarding novel agents and combinations that are not yet approved for patients with CLL, including the combination of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) and venetoclax (Venclexta), acalabrutinib (Calquence) and venetoclax, and pirtobrutinib (LOXO-305).

Brown is hopeful that with more data coming out on these combinations and novel therapies, they will be granted FDA approvals for patients with CLL and better their long-term outcomes.


0:08 | There was a lot of data at this ASH about the ibrutinib and venetoclax combination with longer term follow-up. That combination is also not yet FDA approved, but I think there's a lot of interest in seeing what the longer follow-up of many of these studies show. Then, newer studies that are comparing a BTK [Bruton's tyrosine kinase] inhibitor/BCL2 inhibitor combination to venetoclax are of great interest. Then Matthew S. Davids, MD, MMSc, from my group is leading a study with acalabrutinib and venetoclax vs venetoclax and… It's going to be a crucial set of data for us to understand and think about how best to treat our patients going forward.

0:57 | Pirtobrutinib is also a drug to keep one's eye on. That is a novel non-covalent BTK inhibitor, which has now treated almost 300 patients with CLL who were previously treated with a covalent BTK inhibitor. We heard at this [recent] ASH that the median [progression-free survival] was a little over 19 months for those patients, even if they progressed on a prior covalent BTK inhibitor. Even if they carried the C481 mutation that makes them unresponsive to covalent inhibitors. That drug is in multiple phase 3 registration trials and will hopefully add an additional line of therapy or extend the benefit of BTK inhibitor therapy for our patients.

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