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Management of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia at high risk of relapse on ibrutinib therapy

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Published:8th Nov 2017
Author: Ayed AO, Parikh SA.
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Ref.:Leuk Lymphoma. 2017:1-10.

The past two decades have witnessed a paradigm shift in the management of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), particularly with the introduction of targeted therapies to clinical practice. Ibrutinib is an irreversible inhibitor of Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) and has shown significant efficacy and tolerability, even in heavily treated patients. Despite improvement in outcomes, patients do ultimately relapse. Those who develop disease progression on ibrutinib are a particularly high-risk population with poor outcomes. Identifying patients at higher risk of relapse while on therapy is needed for individualized clinical monitoring and timely subsequent management upon relapse. In this article, we discuss characteristics of CLL progression, risk factors for relapse on ibrutinib including clinical and molecular biomarkers, and a risk-adapted approach to identifying, monitoring, and managing CLL patients during ibrutinib therapy.


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