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What Is Left to Do for CLL / SLL Patients and How to Do It

In science and medicine, information is constantly changing and may become out-of-date as new data emerge. All articles and interviews are informational only, should never be considered medical advice, and should never be acted on without review with your health care team.

Authored by Dr. Brian Koffman

Great progress has been made in how we manage chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), so much so that patients may now have a normal life expectancy. But there is still much left to do.

What Are the Remaining Challenges for Those with CLL?

  1. For patients who have relapsed after one of the first three approved BTK inhibitors (ibrutinib, acalabrutinib, and zanubrutinib) and then venetoclax, options are limited. However, the recent approval of pirtobrutinib is a giant step forward for many with CLL / SLL.
  2. All CLL / SLL patients, regardless of their treatment status, are immunocompromised to a greater or lesser extent.
  3. With rare exceptions, CLL / SLL remains incurable.
  4. Richter’s transformation still has a dismal prognosis.

Working Together on CLL / SLL

In this STAT article, “CLL is not a solved problem — and here’s why,” CLL Society’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brian Koffman, and a former CLL Society board member and now Senior Vice President Clinical Development, Global Head, Hematology at Loxo@Lilly, Dr. John Pagel discuss the unmet needs of the chronic lymphocytic leukemia / small lymphocytic lymphoma community and how nonprofit patient advocacy groups like CLL Society and industry can best work together to ensure patients get their best possible care.

Stay strong. We are all in this together.

Brian Koffman MDCM (retired), MS Ed
Co-Founder, Executive VP, and Chief Medical Officer
CLL Society