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Expanded understanding of the B-cell receptor and B-cell receptor pathway signaling has dramatically changed the face of treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Based on promising findings, the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib gained accelerated approval as a treatment for patients with CLL and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).
Ibrutinib is very active in both CLL and MCL, with very long remission duration demonstrated in clinical trials. The major question that still needs to be answered by future research is whether ibrutinib will replace established therapeutic paradigms. Additionally, the question of whether or not treatment should be stopped for patients with extended responses will also require further study. In general, research has indicated that ibrutinib is effective across a variety of therapeutic settings in CLL, including high-risk patients with 17p deletions.