The search for new and effective treatments for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has been intensified by recent reports of the effectiveness of Ibrutinib. Clinical trials have been conducted and results are being shared in the hope that it will produce similar effects to that of medicine called Erlotinib, which was FDA approved in 2020.
Ibrutinib is anti-inflammatory and immune system modifiers. It is thought that this type of therapy may have some ILL treatment effects similar to those seen with Erlotinib. The published studies include a trial report that showed significant reduction in both progression of CLL and associated mortality in patients receiving high doses of Ibrutinib.
One of the ongoing benefits of Ibrutinib is its ability to prevent the progression of CLL. Previous research has suggested that Ibrutinib prevents the development of cells that cause the disease in patients that are already treated with medicine. This may be particularly important for patients who previously had very poor responses to other types of treatment, but show good responses to Ibrutinib.
Previous studies also suggest that Ibrutinib increases the permeability of the blood vessels, improves the overall well-being of the bone marrow as well as enhances the proliferation of the bone marrow cells. These results are also encouraging for CLL patients as well.
Improvement of immunity was also one of the reported benefits of Ibrutinib. The improvement of the immune system is believed to reduce the risk of developing any of a number of diseases associated with an enhanced immune system, including cancer. Some of the diseases included in this category include AIDS and multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as HIV and various autoimmune diseases. Other studies also indicate improvement of autoimmunity, genetic stability as well as DNA repair.
Patients who have previously undergone hematologic surgery are particularly encouraged by Ibrutinib benefits. In these patients, it has been shown that the Ibrutinib resulted in sustained hematologic improvement that was accompanied by an improvement in toxemia and a marked slowing of the progression of the disease.
In addition, patients treated with Ibrutinib showed improved hemoglobin levels as well as an increase in neutrophil elastase (NEED) activity. While it is not certain if the improvements in the hematology of these patients were caused primarily by the Ibrutinib or by the preexisting improvements in the patients’ heath, the latter conclusion seems more reasonable.
In both patients, however, the hematologic improvement was associated with a dramatic reduction in the frequencies of repeated blood cell counts, a phenomenon that is associated with a substantial improvement in the overall condition of the patient’s health.
Another group of patients who appear to benefit from Ibrutinib are those who have had prior surgery. In these cases, the primary analysis has shown that Ibrutinib was most effective when administered early in the course of the disease.
The improvement in the hematology of these patients was associated with an acceleration of the rate of progression of the disease-related symptoms associated with edema and bone marrow edema. These secondary findings also suggest that Ibrutinib may be effective in combination with other treatment options.