Dr. Awan on the Evolution of Treating Frontline CLL

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Farrukh Awan, MD, discusses the evolution of treating frontline chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Farrukh Awan, MD, professor, the Department of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, member, the Division of Hematology and Oncology, Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the evolution of treating frontline chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

The development of additional frontline treatment options for patients with CLL over the past decade has created a limited role for chemotherapy, Awan explains, adding that BTK inhibitors are now the drug of choice for the majority of patients requiring treatment. Additionally, venetoclax (Venclexta) and other BCL-2 inhibitor–based regimens are promising time-limited treatment options for patients with CLL, Awan adds.

The 3 BTK inhibitors approved by the FDA in the frontline setting include ibrutinib (Imbruvica), acalabrutinib (Calquence), and zanubrutinib (Brukinsa), Awan continues. Although head-to-head comparative studies have evaluated these agents in the relapsed/refractory setting of CLL, no head-to-head data are currently available for the frontline setting, Awan concludes.

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