Doctors are learning more about CLL, 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 drugs and drug combinations – Researchers are working to know about new drugs for CLL. Different combinations of targeted therapy and chemotherapy are also being studied to increase the likelihood that a patient will have complete remission (CR) and live longer. There are new drugs for CLL, including new kinase inhibitors, being evaluated in clinical trials for people having recurrent CLL with the hope of testing some of these drugs as initial therapy shortly.
- Researchers are also considering combining ibrutinib with bendamustine, ofatumumab, rituximab and ibrutinib with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab. Ibrutinib is also being researched with venetoclax.
- Xm5574 is a monoclonal antibody also being researched for the treatment of CLL.
- Idelalisib is being studied in combination with rituximab, bendamustine, and ofatumumab.
- Duvelisib is a type of kinase inhibitor, is also being researched.
- Lenalidomide (Revlimid) is a drug commonly used to treat multiple myeloma. It is also being looked at as a treatment for CLL, either by itself or in combination with various drugs for people with recurrent or refractory CLL and those who haven’t yet received treatment.
- Dinaciclib is another drug being researched for CLL.
- Genetics – Genetic changes particular to CLL cells are also being evaluated to help know how well treatment will work, find out the best treatment, and provide information about the cause of the disease. Examples include-
- Finding different chromosomal abnormalities in CLL cells
- Measuring the immunoglobulin mutations of CLL cells
- Studying the effects of a protein known as ZAP-70, which is found on the surface of the CLL cells
Some research recommends that these markers predict the disease’s likelihood of worsening faster. However, there is usually a large difference in how well a treatment works for patients who seem to have the same genetic markers. It is too early to use these tests to decide when to begin treatment and the type of treatment to use. Palliative care – 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.