Richard R. Furman, MD, a member of the Lymphoma/Myeloma Service in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, discusses the ability to avoid the administration of chemotherapy when using novel agents, such as idelalisib, to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
The administration of novel agents rather than chemotherapy avoids several adverse events, Furman states. As a result, even though the trial exploring idelalisib was completed in patients with comorbidities who were not eligible for chemotherapy, Furman believes idelalisib is still a reasonable option even for patients who are eligible for chemotherapy.
Without the administration of chemotherapy, many side effects are avoided, such as immunosuppression, myelosuppression, and the long-term risk of bone marrow failure and secondary cancers. The avoidance of these side effects should prompt all physicians to consider obfuscating chemotherapy from treatment strategies whenever possible, Furman states.
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