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Shuo Ma, MD, PhD, highlights ongoing research with BTK inhibitors in B-cell malignancies.
Shuo Ma, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine (hematology and oncology), Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, highlights ongoing research with BTK inhibitors in B-cell malignancies.
Currently, the BTK inhibitors ibrutinib (Imbruvica), acalabrutinib (Calquence), and zanubrutinib (Brukinsa) have indications in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma, and Waldenström macroglobulinemia, says Ma. Ibrutinib is a first-generation BTK inhibitor, whereas acalabrutinib and zanubrutinib are second-generation BTK inhibitors.
Ibrutinib inhibits the BTK enzyme, which is a critical component of B-cell biology, survival, and proliferation. However, ibrutinib affects other tyrosine kinases, such as EGFR, Ma explains.
As a result, patients may experience off-target toxicities with ibrutinib, adds Ma.
Although head-to-head clinical trials are needed, acalabrutinib and zanubrutinib may elicit less toxicity compared with ibrutinib as the agents are more selective, Ma concludes.