In a nutshell
This study aimed to investigate the safety and effectiveness of ibrutinib in older patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This study concluded that ibrutinib is safe and effective in these patients.
Ibrutinib (Imbruvica) is a targeted therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Targeted therapies block proteins involved in cancer growth. Ibrutinib has been shown to be effective in older patients with CLL. However, long-term effectiveness and effects of the treatment are still under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study involved 269 patients aged 65 years and older who had previously untreated CLL without a 17p deletion. 50% of patients were treated with ibrutinib and 50% received chlorambucil (Leukeran). Chlorambucil is a chemotherapy used for CLL. Patients were treated for an average of 28.5 months.
The ibrutinib group had longer progression-free survival (PFS – surviving without disease progression) when compared to the chlorambucil group. The 24-month PFS rate was 89% for the ibrutinib group and 34% for the chlorambucil group. PFS rates for the ibrutinib groups were similar regardless of age.
The overall response rate for patients treated with ibrutinib was 92%. The rate of complete response for patients receiving ibrutinib increased from 7% at 12 months to 18% when an additional follow up through 36 months was carried out.
Patients treated with ibrutinib had greater quality of life improvements when compared to the chlorambucil group.
12% of patients experienced neutropenia (low level of white blood cells) of grade 3 (severe) or greater. 7% of patients experienced anemia (low level of red blood cells). 5% of patients experienced hypertension (high blood pressure). 12% of patients ended treatment due to side effects.
The bottom line
This study concluded that ibrutinib is safe and effective in older patients with CLL.
Consult your physician about ibrutinib treatment.
Published By :
Jun 07, 2018