Dr. Al-Sawaf on Fixed-Duration Versus Continuous Treatment in CLL

Othman Al-Sawaf, MD, discusses benefits of a fixed duration treatment versus continuous treatment in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Othman Al-Sawaf, MD, a physician with the University Hospital of Cologne in Germany, discusses benefits of a fixed duration treatment versus continuous treatment in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Traditionally, patients with CLL have been treated with fixed-duration treatments, says Al-Sawaf. When chemoimmunotherapy was administered to patients, they usually received 6 cycles of treatment. As such, for approximately 6 months, patients would have to regularly visit the hospital for surgery, chemoimmunotherapy, or antibody infusions. However, most of the novel compounds that are emerging have been developed for continuous treatment that the patient can receive orally and until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. 

Therefore, the field started to move away from fixed-duration approaches to more tolerable, but continuously administered drugs, adds Al-Sawaf. Now, however, there has been a shift back to examining whether these novel compounds can be administered as a fixed-duration rather than continuous treatment, concludes Al-Sawaf.