Dr. Ma on Developing Novel Agents in BTK Inhibitor–Resistant CLL

October 15, 2020

Shuo Ma, MD, PhD, discusses the need to develop novel agents to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who develop resistance to BTK inhibitors.

Shuo Ma, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine (hematology and oncology), Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, ​Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, discusses the need to develop novel agents to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who develop resistance to BTK inhibitors.

Although the introduction of BTK inhibitors to the CLL armamentarium has been transformative, questions remain, Ma says. For example, additional research is needed to determine the mechanism of resistance for BTK inhibitors, as well as the optimal treatment for patients who develop resistance.

In CLL, some mutations, such as those in the BTK enzyme, confer resistance to first- or second-generation BTK inhibitors, says Ma.

As such, third-generation, reversible BTK inhibitors that are currently in development may be able to overcome resistance, concludes Ma.


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