Doctors are learning more about HCL and PLL, ways to prevent it, the best way to treat it, and how to give the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following research areas may comprise new alternatives for patients with the help of clinical trials. Always talk with the doctor about the best diagnostic and treatment options for you.
New treatments are under research in clinical trials, including those that use angiogenesis inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. Angiogenesis inhibitors focus on blocking angiogenesis, which is the process of making new blood vessels. BL22 and LMB-2 are monoclonal antibodies associated with toxins designed to attach to the surface proteins of leukemia cells. Doctors are using these and monoclonal antibodies in clinical trials for HCL when other treatments no longer work. Drugs targeting the BRAF gene are under research for refractory HCL. In the future, determining whether this gene is mutated also may help diagnose HCL.
Ibrutinib (Imbruvica) is a new drug targeting an enzyme known as Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, which helps B-cell leukemia. It is being studied for various B-cell disorders. And clinical trials in PLL and HCL is also underway.
Additionally, drugs that target B-cells are also being studied for CLL. This includes drugs targeting PI3K, a protein that can help CLL grow, among others.
Researchers are looking at a new therapy known as CAR T-cell therapy or chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy. This treatment uses the patient’s T-cells to attack the leukemia cells.
Clinical trials are going on to find more acceptable ways of lessening symptoms and side effects of cancer treatments to improve comfort and quality of life during treatment.