• Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Chronic lymphatic leukemia, new therapies delay eventual ‘return’ of the disease


May 5, 2021

Every year in Italy about 1,200 people are diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common form of leukemia in Western countries. However, this blood cancer is less scary, thanks to fixed-duration therapy. And it was precisely the therapeutic innovations for patient management with Llc that were today at the center of the web conference “Chronic lymphatic leukemia: fixed-duration therapy transforms the standards of care for a better quality of life for the patient”, promoted by AbbVie – company global biopharmaceutical driven by scientific research – with the participation of Ail, Italian Association against leukemia-lymphomas and myeloma Onlus. During the online meeting it emerged that new data from the ‘Murano’ study, which enrolled patients with relapsed / refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia, confirm the efficacy of the unique mechanism of action of venetoclax – chemo-free treatment with a fixed duration of two years able to activate the programmed death of cancer cells. The benefit of the combination venetoclax plus rituximab over chemoimmunotherapy in terms of efficacy, understood as progression-free survival and overall survival, was confirmed in the study. About half of the patients evaluated are still free from disease progression 3 years after the end of treatment. The period of time that elapses until a possible new treatment is about 5 years longer than the 2 years of chemoimmunotherapy. “Innovating therapies and improving the quality of life of patients is at the center of our work – said Annalisa Iezzi, AbbVie Italia Medical Director -. The data from the ‘Murano’ study confirm the innovative mechanism of action of venetoclax, which by acting on the Bcl-2 protein, it acts to reactivate the mechanism that pushes cancer cells to programmed death. The guiding star of innovation in pharmaceuticals is the patient’s well-being – adds Iezzi – the deeper the response, the longer the well-being is of the patient “. “In the particular case – he continues – the innovation of this drug lies precisely in the mechanism of action which is currently unique, decidedly original, extremely simple to describe: it restores a programmed brain death function. While all the cells in an organism healthy have a programmed life time and then go to death and then be replaced by new cells, this does not happen in cancer cells that proliferate uncontrollably. Venetoclax selectively restores this regulation mechanism. Furthermore, it allows to obtain profound answers. In fact, in an important percentage of patients the disease is no longer detectable with the diagnostic tools available today “. “The therapeutic innovation of fixed-duration therapy – underlines Annalisa Iezzi – translates into a significant impact on the quality of life of patients. AbbVie is committed to transforming the standards of care for various blood cancers and at the same time – she reports – is evaluating more than 20 experimental therapies in over 300 clinical studies for some of the most widespread and difficult to treat cancer diseases. But it remains essential – he concludes – that the patient always has the hospital as a reference element for treatment, not only in this period of pandemic, just as the alliance between doctor, patient and blood center remains fundamental “.