Once a patient is diagnosed with CLL, as was the case with the 50-year-old patient Dr. Barr described, a number of tests can be considered to assess prognosis.
There’s no “perfect answer” when it comes to which tests are considered a reasonable standard of care, he noted.
“I would typically perform [immunoglobulin variable heavy-chain gene] mutation testing, a [fluorescence in situ hybridization] panel, and TP53 mutation testing,” he said.
Scoring systems such as, which combine prognostic factors to divide patients into various risk categories, can be useful.
For example, such systems may identify high-risk patients who might be appropriate candidates for clinical trials, or low-risk patients who could be expected to do well over time despite having advanced stage disease, he explained.
“I do think it’s a useful process to go through to understand a patient’s risk over time,” he added.
However, treatment for CLL still is not based on molecular aberrations/prognostic features. In fact, the treatment indications according to the updated iwCLL guidelines remain exactly the same, he said.
Therefore, the case of the 50-year-old man described earlier would be observed as long as he remained asymptomatic.
Dr. Barr is a consultant for Pharmacyclics, AbbVie, Celgene, Gilead, Infinity, Novartis, and Seattle Genetics and has received research funding from Pharmacyclics and AbbVie.