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Improving outcomes in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

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Published: 19.12.13
Views: 4187

Prof John Gribben - Queen Mary University of London, UK and Prof Barbara Eichhorst - University of Cologne, Germany

Speaking to ecancer from the 55th meeting of the American Society of Haematology (ASH) in New Orleans, USA, Prof John Gribben from Bart’s Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University, London, UK, and Prof Barbara Eichhorst from University of Koln and the German CLL Study Group discuss the CLL10 trial data.  This was designed to show that bendamustine and rituximab (BR) is not inferior in progression or survival outcomes in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), but which showed a significantly higher rate of complete remissions with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab (FCR) in comparison to BR.

The haematologists discuss other prognostic factors which may affect progression-free survival, including the immunoglobulin mutation status, which was a potential confounding factor in the CLL10 trial. Prof Eichhorst confirms that the German CLL study group plans to use FCR as the backbone for their future trials and explains the reasons for this.

Prof Eichhorst talks about the continuum between fit and unfit patients and the way that this impacts on treatment decisions in practice. She also discusses other important factors when choosing treatments for individual patients – toxicity, frequency of treatment, treatment holidays to reduce impact on quality of life.

The experts discuss the fact that there are now numerous new agents and there is not enough time to perform phase III trials on them all.  Prof Eichhorst suggests setting up patient registries to allow patterns to be observed as new drugs are increasingly used.

Read our ASH 2013 conference report for free.

This programme was made possible with an educational grant provided by Mundipharma.

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