This week on the CLL Society website we bring the second part of our interview with Professor Michael Hallek of Koln, Germany, the director of the German CLL Study Group and a major CLL researcher and thinker.
He starts by discussing his “fast boat” adaptive trial strategy (similar in many ways to that of Prof. Hillmen in the UK), essentially looking for the most tailored therapy based on not just predictive factors, but also on how we patients actually respond in trials. He is looking for what I call that perfect Goldilocks’ mix of “ as much as necessary, as little as possible” therapy.
In the second half of the interview, he makes a cogent argument for the ongoing use of FCR frontline in select patients. While many of us are not fans of chemo-immunotherapy (CIT), Professor Hallek has strong data to support his perspective. Listen with an open mind.
We also share my comments and background on an important oral abstract presented at the 20th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA), June 11-15, 2015 on venetoclax (ABT-199 or GDC-199) and rituximab. In relapsed patients, the total response rate, the complete response rate, the MRD- rate and the ability for some to be able to remain disease-free after stopping the drug is important data that you can find here in our 2015 conference coverage section.
We have a significant backlog of important educational material mostly from large conferences such as ASH 2014 and others from 2015 that we plan to post over the next few months.
In a first step to speed up the process, our first high school intern volunteer has joined us online to help her earn her community service hours by helping us catalog all the videos that we have produced and are storing on the web.
We are working hard to expand what we offer to the tens of thousands of online readers and to actuate our ambitious plans for patient-centric, physician-curated live education and support. One volunteer medical director (yours truly), his unpaid wife and one part-time RN can’t do it all, although I have to say we have made some amazing progress in our mission to meet the unmet needs of the CLL community in the less than 90 days since our nonprofit’s website launched. Our website is #1 in organic Google searches for CLL Society despite having no search engine optimization in place. We are too busy trying to get our content up.
There is so much more we must do. Your suggestions, help, support, donations, ideas, and feedback are what guide us and keep us going.
We remain forever committed to open content for all with no need to sign in or share any of your personal information to see a video or to get the help you need. If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to please sign up to receive alerts regarding new postings and for our quarterly newsletters (first one will be published in September) and to share with other patients, caregivers or concerned family or anyone whose life is touched by CLL.
We are all in this together.
Brian Koffman, MD
Volunteer Medical Director, CLL Society