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Dr. Anthony Mato of the University of Pennsylvania has been a pioneer in gathering real world data on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). This is research done on patients that extends beyond the very controlled environment of university-based clinical trials. These data are generated by consolidating information from several centers across the USA, in this case both those in the community and at academic centers.
Key Take Aways:
- Over 600 patients on ibrutinib were studied from 9 universities and 199 community practices.
- Ibrutinib is very active and generally well-tolerated in many settings, including in frontline and relapsed and refractory and high-risk patients in the community.
- By far the most common reason ibrutinib is discontinued is due to side effects and intolerance.
- CLL progress is a distant second reason for stopping therapy, followed by a few unfortunate patients who develop Richter’s Transformation.
- Having a doctor with expertise on how to manage the side effects is critical to getting the maximum benefit from the drugs.
- Ibrutinib side effects include:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Arthralgia (joint pains)
- Bruising and bleeding
- Idelalisib side effects include:
- Diarrhea and colitis
- Pneumonitis (lung inflammation)
- Liver dysfunction
Having a CLL team with experience with best managing the side effects can be critically important to staying on these extremely helpful drugs.
To get all the details, the ASH 2016 abstract of Toxicities and Outcomes of Ibrutinib-Treated Patients in the United States: Large Retrospective Analysis of 621 Real World Patients can be read here.
Please enjoy the interview with Dr. Mato or you can read the transcript HERE.
Brian Koffman, MD