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Professor Hallek heads up CLL research in Germany from his position at the University of Koln and he has done much to improve the outcomes for those of us with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
In our interview from the EHA (European Hematology Association) Congress in June 2016 in Copenhagen, he discussed the unmet needs in CLL, as well as his approach to incrementally addressing them through research.
Take Away Points
- The main unmet needs in CLL are:
- The need for better treatments for high-risk patients such as deletion 17p and complex karyotype that continue to have a much higher rate of relapse with all therapies, including novel agents.
- The need to completely eliminate the cancer clone, in other words get to MRD negativity.
- The need for sensible parallel or sequential combinations. His large German study group believes so strongly in this principle that they are no longer doing any single agent trials.
- The need for effective finite therapy, because long-term therapy increases the risk of developing resistance clones.
- The need for affordable therapies.
Please enjoy Professor Hallek’s thoughtful approach to solving the remaining problems for those of us with CLL.
Brian Koffman, MD 10/10/16