Dr. Ferrajoli on the FDA Approval of Ibrutinib in CLL
Alessandra Ferrajoli, MD, associate professor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the recent approval of ibrutinib for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who have received at least one previous therapy.
Ferrajoli says physicians at MD Anderson Cancer Center have worked with ibrutinib extensively. This agent demonstrates good activity, especially in the lymph nodes, and has a favorable toxicity profile. Ferrajoli says the side effect of infection is difficult to sort out between the natural predisposition of the patients or a factor related to the agent. Patients respond well to ibrutinib with rapid improvements in hemoglobin and platelet levels. Their quality of life also improves while on the agent, Ferrajoli says.
Now that the drug is approved, physicians are able to offer the agent to patients who did not qualify to take part in clinical trials. Ferrajoli says she is looking forward to using the agent in combination and is looking forward to future clinical trials exploring the combination of ibrutinib with other agents.