Using Ibrutinib in Combination Therapies for CLL

Jennifer Woyach, MD, discusses the benefit of a combination therapy with ibrutinib for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Jennifer Woyach, MD, assistant professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the benefit of a combination therapy with ibrutinib for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Woyach says a physician might decide to use a combination therapy with ibrutinib because of the drug’s side effect of peripheral lymphocytosis. However, researchers do not know if the peripheral lymphocytosis is detrimental to the patient’s health.

Since most of the responses that are seen in the relapse setting with ibrutinib are partial responses, physicians may want to use other therapies in combination with ibrutinib to get a complete response, Woyach says.

Woyach believes the most attractive agents to combine with ibrutinib are the ones that are well tolerated as most patients with CLL are older or patients who have had chemo-immunotherapy previously.

Clinical Pearls

  • Physicians may want to use a combination therapy with ibrutinib in order to reduce the side effect of peripheral lymphocytosis
  • Combination therapy with ibrutinib may also get patients to achieve a complete response
  • The most attractive agents to combine with ibrutinib are those that are well tolerated