Dr. Byrd: Let’s Bake A Cake Of Cure for CLL.
OK team, we have taken the first giant step in this moon shot. We have great new treatment for CLL. We’ve safely landed in a new world of long-term disease control with no chemotherapy for many of us. Now get us home.
The real work is just beginning.
We need to research potent combinations of these new wonder drugs (maybe with older chemo) to help us stay in the land of remission forever, get off the daily meds, and maybe, just maybe find out decades from now that we have been cured.
We need more trials, trials that with and without chemotherapy. We need trials that use drugs from different pharmaceutical companies. Abbvie already has links with Infinity. Pharmacyclics is already working with TG Therapeutics in this clinical trial. And Pharmacyclics was just acquired by Abbvie. We need more of these alliances that break down commercial barriers for the benefit of the patients.
We need brave patients to volunteer.
While all of this sound so positive, let’s not forget that when Gilead ran what seemed to be a sensible and necessary trial combining its Syk inhibitor, GS-9973 and its better-known PI3k inhibitor, idelalisib or Zydelig (click here for the abstract), they concluded:
“Despite promising activity in CLL, the combination of GS-9973 and Idelalisib resulted in an unexpectedly high rate of pneumonitis and resulted in stopping dosing of the combination These data need to be considered when designing future investigations combining inhibitors of B cell receptor signaling.“
So we can’t take anything for granted. These trials need to be carefully designed and monitored. But they are our best path to a cure.
It demands that patients and providers and industry and the FDA are all fighting together to “bake a cake of cure” for CLL.
I like it.
Please enjoy this upbeat and realistic one-minute video of my doctor, Dr. John Byrd out of OSU.
Good times indeed. Let’s have our cake (vegan of course) and eat it.
Brian Koffman 9/10/14 Revised 3/17/15