Early Dose-Escalation Data for Potential Treatment for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Released

According to a story from BioPortfolio, the global biopharmaceutical company Celgene Corporation recently announced the release of early data from the dose-escalation portion of a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of lisocabtagene maraleucel (liso-cel) as a treatment for patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The study include patients with cytogenic signs of higher risk disease that have already received treatment with ibrutinib, which is a current standard of care for this blood cancer.

About Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a form of blood cancer which affects lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell. The disease may not cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages. This cancer is linked to certain genetic mutations; notable risk factor for this blood cancer include old age, being male, exposure to certain insecticides, exposure to Agent Orange, and family history. Symptoms of chronic lymphocytic leukemia include fever, anemia, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, and fatigue. It is also possible for this disease to transform into a more aggressive and faster progressing type of blood cancer like Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Treatment for this disease focuses mostly on controlling symptoms, and there is no cure. These treatments may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, bone marrow transplant, or biological therapy. As a slow growing cancer, the five year survival rate is 83 percent. To learn more about chronic lymphocytic leukemia, click here.

Data So Far

The data so far has been gathered from a total of 16 participating patients. All patients have attempted multiple prior lines of therapy, including treatment with ibrutinib. The overall response rate to liso-cel was 81 percent with 43 percent of patients displaying a complete response to the therapy. Five of the patients successfully maintained response at six months with undetectable minimal residual disease.

These findings indicate that further investigation with liso-cel is warranted. Undetectable minimal residual disease has long been understood to be an indicator of favorable prognosis for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, but it is uncommon for patients that have seen progression after treatment with ibrutinib. Hopefully future data from this study will reinforce these encouraging initial findings.


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