In a nutshell
This study aimed to investigate patient well-being and patient-reported outcomes in previously treated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who receive ibrutinib (Imbruvica) or ofatumumab (Arzerra). They concluded that ibrutinib can improve quality of life while prolonging survival in these patients.
Ibrutinib and ofatumumab are targeted therapy drugs used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Patient well-being and quality of life are important factors when patients are receiving treatment. These can be measured by hematologic (blood cell-producing) function and disease-related symptoms.
Whether ibrutinib or ofatumumab would be more effective for treating relapsed or unresponsive patients with CLL while preserving the quality of life remains under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study involved 391 patients with previously treated CLL. The well-being of patients was assessed by monitoring different organ and blood functions and with questionnaires. Patients received ibrutinib (195 patients) or ofatumumab (196 patients) for up to 24 weeks. They were followed up to 24 months.
79% of patients with a low blood cell count treated with ibrutinib showed sustained improvements in blood cell count. In the ofatumumab group, this improvement was seen in 43% of patients. Patients who received ibrutinib also had higher rates of improvements in functional status (56%) when compared to those who received ofatumumab (43%).
Patients treated with ibrutinib had greater improvement in disease-related weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, and abdominal discomfort when compared to patients who received ofatumumab. Patients treated with ibrutinib has less frequent hospitalizations in the first 30 days when compared to patients who received ofatumumab.
Side effects such as nausea and fatigue were similar in both groups. Diarrhea was more common in the ibrutinib group in the first 6 months.
The bottom line
This study concluded that ibrutinib can improve quality of life while prolonging survival for patients with relapsed or unresponsive CLL.
The fine print
This study was sponsored by Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie Company, the manufacturer of ibrutinib.
Published By :
Clinical lymphoma, myeloma & leukemia
Dec 01, 2018