Trending Clinical Topics for December 2018

Ryan Syrek


December 14, 2018

Each week, we identify one top search term, speculate as to what caused its popularity, and provide an infographic on a related condition. If you have thoughts about what's trending and why, feel free to share them with us on Twitter or Facebook!

Trending Clinical Topic of the Week (December 8-14): Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Potential practice-changing news out of the 60th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) is responsible for this week's top trending clinical topic.

A large trial funded by the National Cancer Institute found that the combination of ibrutinib and rituximab outperformed the current criterion standard of fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) in the treatment of young, fit patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Not only was ibrutinib/rituximab less toxic to patients, but it also demonstrated superior overall survival and progression-free survival versus FCR. These results may well change current practice for certain patients with CLL.

A separate study involving ibrutinib also garnered attention. Research demonstrated that patients older than 65 years with previously untreated CLL had superior progression-free survival when treated with ibrutinib alone or in combination with rituximab, compared with the current standard of care, bendamustine and rituximab. The researchers concluded that ibrutinib alone is an appropriate initial treatment for CLL in that patient group.

Recent news surrounding CLL wasn't all positive, however. New data were presented at the ASH meeting regarding why certain patients with CLL stop responding to venetoclax. Research suggests that a specific mutation, Gly101Val in BCL2, decreases the effectiveness of the drug. Detecting this mutation early may be clinically useful, as it can suggest the need for alternative or additional therapies. The annual ASH meeting brought attention to various serious conditions and helped make CLL this week's top trending clinical topic.

Read more information on CLL.


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