July 5, 2019 – CLL

June 27, 2019

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Anchor lead: A two therapy approach may help in the most common form of leukemia, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, abbreviated CLL, is the most common form of leukemia, often affecting older people and those with certain mutations. Now a new study looked at whether combining two drugs known to be effective separately was a good strategy. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes the findings.

Nelson: The answer was really good news. If you look at the trial this was bad disease in older people. They didn’t see a single side effect that you wouldn’t have expected from the individual drugs alone but the combination they dropped white counts, but it was largely manageable. Eighty-eight percent of everyone in the trial had a complete response rate. At one year the group that had not had any progression was 98-99% of them were still alive. I think this is a step in the right direction.  :23

Nelson predicts that for those who have the mutations, this strategy is likely to be practice changing. He says that even when precise techniques to detect even a very small amount of residual disease were employed, no remaining cancer was seen. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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