New Hope For Patients With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Patients treated with lenalidomide for relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or disease that no longer responds to chemotherapy have experienced a major response to therapy, according to a phase II study conducted by Asher Chanan-Khan, MD, Department of Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). The results are published in the December 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
"Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is the most common hematologic malignancy in the western hemisphere," according to Dr. Chanan-Khan, "and remains incurable." While several phase II studies have demonstrated improved clinical response to chemotherapy alone, or combined with the monoclonal antibody rituximab, relapse is inevitable and treatment options at that point are limited.
Lenalidomide is a novel immune modulating, non-chemotherapy, cancer drug that is chemically similar to thalidomide, but is more potent in the laboratory and appears to lack some of the more common side effects of thalidomide. Anticancer activity of this agent has been reported in various malignant disorders, including multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome.
In this phase II study