Just prior to the XVI International Workshop on CLL in Sydney, Australia, Brian Koffman, MD was joined by Judith Trotman, MD from the University of Sydney, William Wierda, MD, PhD from MD Anderson Cancer Center and Adrian Weistner, MD, PhD from the National Institutes of Health for a CLL Patient Meeting in partnership with Lymphoma Australia.
Join this esteemed panel for a one-hour session where they answer questions posed by Brian. In some cases, there is agreement amongst the panel regarding certain questions, in others there are differences based on healthcare policies and drug availability in a specific geographic region or based on institutional protocols.
- What is CLL? What is SLL?
- How are these diseases diagnosed?
- What tests should I expect to be performed?
- What is the role of CT scans or PET scans in the diagnostic process?
- When should treatment be started and what is the role of Watch & Wait?
- What treatments are used in the frontline setting and how are those decisions made?
- What are the potential complications of CLL?
- What are the potential complications of various treatments?
- What treatments are used in the relapsed setting?
- Is there still a role for bone marrow transplant in CLL?
- What should be studied in clinical trials?
Other topics that were discussed included the possibility of eliminating chemotherapy as a treatment for CLL, the role of the patients’ own T cells in fighting against CLL, as in CAR T or chimeric T cell receptors, and the role of ROR1 (Receptor Tyrosine Kinase-Like Orphan Receptor 1).
Involving T cells in the fight against CLL is PD-1 and PDL-1 is another new area of study. In a normal immune system, T cells are supposed to kill any thing that is foreign to the human body and this is how our body protects us from getting viral infections, etc. This is an area that is already being studied in solid tumors. For a great explanation of how this is proposed to work, read the description of three new investigator initiated trials out of MD Anderson Cancer Center by Dr. Nitin Jain here.
Finally, our panel offers advice to patients as they begin their journey with CLL. Here is the panel discussion.
Betsy Dennison, RN 11/2/15