Relapsed and Refractory CLL with Javier Pinilla-lbarz, MD, PhD and Paul Barr, MD: Case 1 - Episode 2
Would you consider additional chemo-immunotherapy in this patient?
The BCR inhibitors are important medications for patients with 17p in the front-line. However, in many instances patients do not have this diagnosis, they have not been tested for this deletion at the beginning, or doctors in the community are not aware of the data. Some patients, like the one in this case, are treated with fludarabine-based regimens. The problem encountered with this patient is that the therapy as well as the outcomes are not ideal, they may have a transient response. However, shortly after therapy is stopped, these patients tend to relapse.
Case 1: Relapsed and Refractory CLL
Robert is a 63-year-old retired civil engineer from Houston, Texas. His medical history is notable for mild hypertension and for an acute appendicitis and appendectomy in 2010. He presented to his PCP in September 2012 with symptoms of intermittent fatigue and abdominal discomfort.
On physical examination, Robert showed moderate splenomegaly (12 cm), lymphadenopathy, and CBC showed elevated WBC count of 98 x 109/L, with 80% lymphocytes, and anemia (Hb 11 g/dL).
He was referred to an oncologist for further evaluation and was subsequently diagnosed with (CLL); peripheral blood flow cytometry showed mature B lymphocytes CD5+/CD23+.
Interphase cytogenetic analysis showed 17p13.1 deletion
He was initiated on chemoimmunotherapy with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) in October 2012
After 5 cycles he displayed a complete response, with disappearance of palpable disease, normalization of blood counts, and no evidence of disease on bone marrow biopsy and CT scans.
In January 2015, he presented to his oncologist with symptoms of worsening fatigue and abdominal distension.