Dr. Park on Vemurafenib in Hairy Cell Leukemia
Jae Park, MD, attending physician, Leukemia Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital, discusses vemurafenib in hairy cell leukemia.
Park says the first breakthrough in hairy cell leukemia came in the 1980s when physicians learned that Pentostatin and Cladribine were highly effective in these patients. In 2011, physicians learned that there was a BRAF V600E mutation in the vast majority of patients with hairy cell leukemia, which gave physicians a promising target.
Based on that finding, Park says, a phase II study is underway looking at vemurafenib, a BRAF inhibitor, in patients with relapsed or refractory hairy cell leukemia.
So far, 13 patients have been accrued for the study. Park says 9 of those patients have completed three months of therapy and 7 of the 9 patients have achieved a complete remission. Park says 2 patients are in partial remission with very little disease burden. All of the patients have a complete hematologic recovery.