Novel Agents Could Improve Chemoimmunotherapy in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

October 17, 2020

Matthew S. Davids, MD, MMSc, discusses the current treatment landscape for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia beyond chemoimmunotherapy.

Matthew S. Davids, MD, MMSc, director of clinical research in the Lymphoma Program and a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, as well as an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, discusses the current treatment landscape for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) beyond chemoimmunotherapy.

According to Davids, a number of novel agents have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of patients in the frontline setting, which is beginning to replace the role of chemoimmunotherapy in this space. The most widely used treatment for frontline CLL has become ibrutinib (Imbruvica), which is a Bruton’s kinase (BTK) inhibitor.

The second BTK inhibitor, acalabrutinib (Calquence) received its approval for the frontline treatment of patients with CLL. Both BTK inhibitors are continuous therapy regimens, but the combination of venetoclax (Venclexta) plus obinutuzumab (Gazyva) is now challenging this approach as a time-limited therapy regimen to replace chemoimmunotherapy.