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Posted by on Jun 26, 2018 in Leukemia | 0 comments

In a nutshell

The study looked at the impact of other medical conditions (comorbidities) on the effectiveness of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The study concluded that having a number of other conditions was associated with a poorer prognosis in CLL patients treated with ibrutinib.

Some background

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is most common in elderly patients, who may also have other medical conditions. These may include diabetes, cancer, or diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Other conditions can poorly affect outcomes of CLL patients treated with chemotherapy. It is not yet known if other conditions affect targeted therapies (treatments that target proteins involved in cancer growth) like ibrutinib.

Methods & findings

145 patients who received ibrutinib were studied. Patient records were examined to determine the number of other medical conditions. Common conditions were hypertension (21% of patients), arthritis (53% of patients) and diabetes (38% of patients). Patients were followed up for 19 months.

Patients with fewer conditions had better outcomes. Patients with a lower number of other condtions had a 2-year overall survival rate (time from treatment until death from any cause) of 100%. Average event-free survival (time from treatment until disease progression, new treatment, or death) was 37 months. 

Patients with a higher number of other condtions had an average event-free survival of 24 months. After 2 years, the overall survival rate of 79%.

The bottom line

The study concluded that CLL patients treated with ibrutinib had a worse prognosis if they also had a number of other medical conditions.

The fine print

This study was retrospective (looking at old data) with a small patient sample size.

Published By :


Date :

May 24, 2018

Original Title :

Comorbidities predict inferior outcomes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia treated with ibrutinib.

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