Dr. Wierda on the Treatment of Elderly CLL Patients

William G. Wierda, MD, PhD
Published Online: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
William G. Wierda, MD, PhD, professor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses treatment recommendations for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

The CLL11 trial compared chlorambucil, chlorambucil plus rituximab, and chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab (GA101) in previously untreated patients with CLL and and preexisting medical conditions. The trial showed superiority for the chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab arm. To be eligible for this trial, patients needed to have a SEER score higher than 6, which reflects comorbidities associated with age (over age 65 or 70) or renal insufficiency.

Wierda says if an elderly patient who needs frontline therapy and is not appropriate for chemoimmunotherapy is seen at his practice, the first choice of treatment for the patient would be chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab.

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