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Where next for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in the elderly?

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Published: 19.12.13
Views: 4617

Prof Clemens Wendter, Prof Florence Cymbalista, Prof Anders Österborg

Speaking to ecancer from the 55th meeting of the American Society of Haematology (ASH) in New Orleans, USA, Prof Clemens Wendtner, Klinikum Schwabing, Munich, Germany; Prof Florence Cymbalista, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Hôpital Avicenne, Paris, France; and Prof Anders Österborg, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, discuss the development of new drugs for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) for elderly or unfit patients.

Prof Österborg  emphasises that tolerability is key, as is achieving long-term remission, and reminds viewers that patients are not ‘old’, they are merely ‘elderly’.  Prof Cymbalista talks about using ‘fitness’ rather than age to determine treatment, and how difficult it is to define fitness.  She also discusses drug tolerability, particularly infused drugs which can be used to improved adherence in the elderly or unfit.

The panel goes on to discuss the outcomes from two new trials showing positive clinical effectiveness ad tolerability and duration of remission in elderly patients. 

Prof Wendtner then introduces the topic of small molecules – an area to watch for in the future - and the panel discusses their likely future impact on the elderly.  However, Prof Cymbalista cautions that more information is needed on long-term outcomes and tolerability, and notes that cost will be a factor in their success.

Read our ASH 2013 conference report for free.

This programme has been supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Janssen Pharmaceutica (A Johnson & Johnson Company).

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