Dr Seymour on the Importance of Targeted Therapy in CLL

John Seymour, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, discusses the importance of targeted therapy in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

John Seymour, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, director, Department of Hematology, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, medical oncologist, Hematology Department, the Royal Melbourne Hospital, discusses the importance of targeted therapy in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

At the 2023 SOHO Annual Meeting, Seymour shared information on the curative potential of fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (Rituxan; FCR) in a small subset of patients, detailing the combination’s potential role despite the emergence of other treatment approach within the CLL landscape. In hispresentation, Seymour highlighted that FCR has curative potential for patients with IGHV-mutated CLL without TP53 aberrations. Additionally, Seymour highlighted that patient age plays a role in responses with FCR, as younger, fit patients with adequate renal function are more likely to derive benefit and tolerate this regimen.

In an interview with OncLive®, Seymour added that one of the key elements to treating patients in this population is the use of targeted therapy. When considering the potential application of FCR, understand the individual biologic profiles of the patients being treated, as well as their individual risks associated with their disease , he explains.

Targeted agents, particularly the use of BTK inhibitors, are generally beneficial for most patient subsets in CLL, he expands. However, the agents’ full potential may not always be reached. For example, treatment regimens might be selected without conducting genetic testing. In turn, the nuance of the individual’s disease remains unknown without genetic testing, he notes, and could prevent oncologists from understanding how a patient’s disease may behavelong-term, Seymour says. Furthermore, not testing patients leaves oncologists less equipped to identify whether more intensive therapies or immunotherapies would benefit their patient, and whether bone marrow transplant or CAR T-cell therapy may be advantageous in the future, he concludes.

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