Dr. Barrientos on the Impact of Combinations in CLL

Jacqueline C. Barrientos, MD

Jacqueline C. Barrientos, MD, associate professor, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Northwell Health, discusses the impact of combinations in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Combinations offer the opportunity to treat certain patients who would not be optimally treated with the currently available regimens, says Barrientos. This is particularly true for patients older than 65, as they traditionally do not do well with a chemotherapy regimen like fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (Rituxan). Barrientos says that even patients in their 80s can undergo combination therapy.

Combination studies like TAP CLARITY, which evaluated ibrutinib (Imbruvia) plus venetoclax (Venclexta) in patients with relapsed/refractory CLL, have shown that combinations elicit deep responses with no increase in toxicity. Based on studies like these, Barrientos says that there is a possibility of a future with chemotherapy-free regimens for patients with CLL. This will provide the opportunity for patients to achieve deeper responses so that they do not need to be on a drug indefinitely, she adds.
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