Novel Agent Active Against Chronic Leukemia
An interim analysis of a phase II clinical trial indicated that an experimental agent for treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is active and well-tolerated both in patients undergoing initial treatment and in those who have relapsed and are resistant to other therapy. The agent, PCI-32765, was the first drug designed to target Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, a molecule that is essential for CLL cells to grow and proliferate. Study leader John C. Byrd, MD, says the early findings suggest that this agent is an active oral therapeutic that produces a high rate of durable remissions with acceptable toxicity in relapsed and refractory CLL. He presented the findings at the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.