Targeted Therapies for CLL

March 28, 2014
William G. Wierda, MD, PhD

William G. Wierda, MD, PhD, professor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, comments on the impact of targeted therapies for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Clinical Pearls

William G. Wierda, MD, PhD, professor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, comments on the impact of targeted therapies for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

  • Targeted therapies as a class are transforming the treatment of CLL.
  • Ibrutinib is active in controlling the disease, as most patients will achieve a partial remission that can last for years.
  • There remains a need for research to fully understand resistance.
  • The median PFS for relapsed patients who harbor a 17p deletion treated with ibrutinib is 2-2.5 years. These patients are considered high-risk and need other treatment approaches.