From the Journals

Updated CLL guidelines incorporate a decade of advances


 

FROM BLOOD

Updated clinical guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) include new and revised recommendations based on major advances in genomics, targeted therapies, and biomarkers that have occurred since the last iteration in 2008.

The guidelines are an update from a consensus document issued a decade ago by the International Workshop on CLL, focusing on the conduct of clinical trials in patients with CLL. The new guidelines are published in Blood.

Major changes or additions include:

Molecular genetics: The updated guidelines recognize the clinical importance of specific genomic alterations/mutations on response to standard chemotherapy or chemoimmunotherapy, including the 17p deletion and mutations in TP53.

“Therefore, the assessment of both del(17p) and TP53 mutation has prognostic and predictive value and should guide therapeutic decisions in routine practice. For clinical trials, it is recommended that molecular genetics be performed prior to treating a patient on protocol,” the guidelines state.

IGHV mutational status: The mutational status of immunoglobulin variable heavy chain (IGHV) genes has been demonstrated to offer important prognostic information, according to the guidelines authors led by Michael Hallek, MD of the University of Cologne, Germany.

Specifically, leukemia with IGHV genes without somatic mutations are associated with worse clinical outcomes, compared with leukemia with IGHV mutations. Patients with mutated IGHV and other prognostic factors such as favorable cytogenetics or minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity generally have excellent outcomes with a chemoimmunotherapy regimen consisting of fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab, the authors noted.

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