Welcome to 2021! We hope this week’s Alert finds you all well. As you can imagine, we have been inundated with requests for information concerning the vaccine and possible treatments to prevent or manage COVID-19 in CLL patients, including the experimental use of monoclonal antibodies. Be assured that we will provide you with timely, physician-curated information. Our Alerts are published weekly, but as data and analysis of ongoing research is released, significant updates may become available later in the week. Please stay up-to-date with regular visits to the website and follow CLL Society’s Facebook page.
CLL Society’s Vaccine Official Statement Updated 1/04/21: Should I get the vaccine? Which vaccine? Can I get COVID-19 from the shots? Are they otherwise safe? What are the side effects? We understand your concern! CLL Society provides the current best answers to these and other questions in this physician-reviewed official statement that will be updated as needed. Please read, print, and share our Official Statement Concerning SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine in CLL patients updated as of 01/04/2021.
Conference Coverage Related to COVID-19
During ASH 2020, Dr. Lindsey Roeker presented the updated data from the largest study to date examining outcomes for CLL patients infected with SARS-Cov-2. Watch our interview here.
Dr. Lindsey Roeker focuses on the laboratory evidence of immune responses of CLL patients with COVID-19 that may foreshadow how we will respond to the COVID-19 vaccines. Read more here.
Acalabrutinib and COVID-19
There has been much excitement about the possibility that BTK inhibitors (such as ibrutinib or acalabrutinib) might improve outcomes in COVID-19 for all patients. Dr. Treon published a retrospective study on his patients with Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia, a B-cell cancer similar to CLL, who did well while on ibrutinib when they contracted COVID-19. Dr. Koffman discusses progress on this here.
Zanabrutinib and NCCN Guidelines
Update concerning zanabrutinib: In Dec, 2020, NCCN recommended use of zanabrutinib as frontline and later lines of therapy in CLL. Read more here.
Please take our CAR-T Survey! At ASH 2020 we learned that CAR-T cells may soon have an important place in treating CLL. Patients currently receiving CAR-T cells in clinical trials are experiencing fewer toxicities and many are having durable responses. As CLL Society continues to plan educational programs around these important developments, please help us by sharing what you currently know about CAR-T therapy. Take our CAR-T survey here. Thank you!
MRD and Limited Duration (LD) Survey
Help the CLL Society find out what our CLL patients and their caregivers know and still “yearn to learn” about MRD testing (for Minimal Residual Disease) and Limited Duration Therapies. Your input + our future programming = Smarter Patients Getting Smarter Care! Please complete our MRD & Limited Duration Therapy Survey. Thank you!
CLL-Specific Support Groups
Make this your New Year’s Resolution: Don’t spend another month alone! CLL Society Support Groups meet virtually, once a month. In this interview, Patty Koffman chats with 20-year CLL survivor and Director of CLL Society’s 38 Support Groups, Terry Evans, who warmly invites you to sign on virtually and make new friends. In isolation, we are having conversations with and sharing our CLL worries with only ONE person: ourselves. This is too big a burden to place on ourselves alone. Experience something better and learn something new. CLL treatments are better than ever. CLL patients are living longer than ever. Find out how! Learn how to front-load your knowledge, put together a strong healthcare team, and get proper treatment. Don’t let another month go by. Join a CLL-specific Support Group today.
Please donate to the CLL Society.
As we draw close to the end of the year, please consider that the CLL Society is unique among blood cancer charities. We are laser-focused on CLL alone, and our physician-curated CLL programs and publications are held to the highest standards of accuracy.
Your generous support in 2020 has allowed CLL Society to remain nimble in the face of COVID-19’s unprecedented challenges. Some of these efforts included reformatting our programing to function in an all-virtual Zoom format, completing a massive mail-out of face masks to our immunocompromised CLL patients and their caregivers, and in multiple other ways that supported our ongoing mission to be there for you.
We still have much critical work ahead of us and your support is vital.
Please take a moment to learn about what makes the CLL Society so smart and why should you invest in it. Brains! BScs, DOs, PAs, RNs, MDs, and PhDs. Hundreds of ground-breaking CLL-focused clinical trials and hundreds of thousands of hours of compassionate clinical care inform CLL Society’s Medical Advisory Board. How many of these physicians, researchers, and visionaries do you recognize? This is where we get our brains.
CLL Society is the only CLL-specific, physician-curated public charity dedicated to meeting the unmet needs of CLL patients and their caregivers which holds the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency.
We are all in this together.
Co-Founder & Communications Director
CLL Society Support Group Meetings Coming Up!
CLL Society Support Group meetings have moved to a virtual platform for most locations due to the threat of coronavirus. Support group members will receive an invitation to register for the meeting from the support group facilitator. If you are new to the group, please contact the RSVP email for the Support Group in your region. Once it is safe again, we will resume in-person meetings.
Visit the individual event listings on our website for the most up-to-date information on all CLL Society Support Group meetings.