Author | Michael J. Keating, MB

Articles

Managing CLL: A New Level of Sophistication

December 01, 2007

For decades, initial therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) consisted of alkylators such as chlorambucil (Leukeran). The introduction of nucleoside analogs such as fludarabine and monoclonal antibodies such as rituximab (Rituxan) markedly changed the initial therapy of CLL, particularly in the United States. Fludarabine and combination regimens such as fludarabine/cyclophosphamide (FC) have achieved higher complete response (CR) rates and progression-free survival (PFS) than chlorambucil in previously untreated CLL, but long-term overall survival has not improved, due to concurrent improvement in salvage therapy of relapsed CLL patients. Upfront chemoimmunotherapy regimens such as fludarabine/rituximab (FR) and fludarabine/cyclophosphamide/rituximab (FCR) have similarly improved CR rates and PFS in previously untreated CLL patients, but it is unclear whether overall survival is improved. Advances in cytogenetic analysis and other biologic prognostic factors have greatly enhanced clinicians' ability to risk-stratify newly diagnosed CLL patients, and knowledge of such prognostic factors is necessary to properly interpret results of clinical treatment studies. The choice of initial therapy for an individual patient should depend upon the patient's age and medical condition, cytogenetic and other prognostic factors, and whether the goal of therapy is maximization of CR and PFS or palliation of symptoms with minimal toxicity.

Emergence of Chronic Leukemias as Major Research Targets in Leukemia

December 01, 2002

In the last 20 yearsof the past millennium,most clinical researchin leukemiawas directed towardimproving prognosisof acute leukemia andstudying the role ofstem cell transplantation(SCT), both autologousand allogeneic,in these diseases.The emergence of new treatments and therapeuticapproaches has dramatically changed the emphasisof clinical research in leukemia. The power ofeffective new agents to transform clinical research hasbeen illustrated by the emergence of the tyrosine kinaseinhibitor imatinib mesylate (Gleevec, STI-571) inchronic myeloid leukemia and monoclonal antibodiesin chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Advances in the Management of Lymphoma

December 01, 2002

This special “Annual Highlights” supplement to Oncology NewsInternational is a compilation of the major advances in the managementof the lymphomas and leukemias during 2002, as reported in ONI.Commentaries by the editors, Drs. Gregory Bociek, James Armitage,and Michael Keating, provide perspective and prediction as to howthese developments may affect clinical practice.

Rituximab Improves Efficacy of Chemotherapy for Follicular Lymphomas

December 01, 2002

This special “Annual Highlights” supplement to Oncology NewsInternational is a compilation of the major advances in the managementof the lymphomas and leukemias during 2002, as reported in ONI.Commentaries by the editors, Drs. Gregory Bociek, James Armitage,and Michael Keating, provide perspective and prediction as to howthese developments may affect clinical practice.