Relapsed and Refractory CLL with Javier Pinilla-lbarz, MD, PhD and Paul Barr, MD: Case 1 - Episode 5
Why is it important to treat to progression in this patient?
The use of BCR inhibitors and, in this case, a BTK inhibitor, will show that most of these patients may have a long period of PFS, or at least relapse-free-survival. There is no doubt that the only reason to stop therapy will be if the patient progresses, which unfortunately has a very poor outcome, or if the patient has intolerable side effects that would preclude to continue with these kinds of drugs.
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.