Emily C. Ayers, MD, discusses unmet needs in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Emily C. Ayers, MD, hematologist/oncologist, assistant professor, University of Virginia Health, discusses unmet needs in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
Currently, CLL is an incurable disease, Ayers says. Although new therapies have prolonged survival for patients with CLL, additional therapies directed toward novel targets are needed in the relapsed/refractory setting because patients frequently relapse and require multiple lines of therapy.
In the past few years, several exciting developments have been made in CLL, including fixed-duration therapy with venetoclax (Venclexta), explains Ayers. With this regimen, patients receive treatment with venetoclax for 1 to 2 years depending on the number of prior lines of therapy they have received. Once patients have completed the 1 to 2 years of treatment, they are closely monitored.
In terms of ongoing research, the role of minimal residual disease is under exploration, says Ayers.
Looking forward, patients who achieve deep and durable remission may be able to discontinue therapy, Ayers concludes.