More Specific BTK Inhibitor Shows High Relative Rates of Response in CLL

In a phase 3 trial, acalabrutinib, a second-generation Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK), provided a progression-free survival (PFS) advantage over a chemotherapy-containing standard in frontline treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

In the three-arm study, called ELEVATE TN, acalabrutinib (Calquence, AstraZeneca) alone and in combination with obinutuzumab (Gazyva, Genentech) was found to be significantly more effective than chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab for the primary PFS end point, reported investigator Jeff P. Sharman, MD,  at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH, abstract 31). Dr. Sharman, the director of research at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, in Eugene, Ore also noted that a trend toward an overall survival (OS) benefit appeared to be emerging for the acalabrutinib combination.

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