Sandra M. Swain, MD, FACP, Immediate Past President of ASCO commented on the findings. “This is an exciting discovery and an example of early success in precision medicine. It’s targeting PI3K-delta, which is overactive in B-cell malignancies and is used in a disease that is very refractory to treatment. The overall response rate was 56%, but even more striking, the progression-free survival was 17 months. I think this is pretty incredible. Two patients had full remissions.”
She noted that many patients with CLL are aged 70 and older, and that the good tolerability of this regimen would be important in this group. “The study demonstrates that we may soon have alternatives to chemotherapy for slow-growing blood cancers, and we can offer simpler oral treatments and therefore improved quality of life for patients,” Dr. Swain said. ■
Disclosure: Dr. Swain reported no potential conflicts of interest.
Heavily pretreated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) responded robustly to the first-in-class small-molecule inhibitor idelalisib (formerly GS1101), in a phase I dose-finding study reported in a press briefing prior to the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting.1 Idelalisib, a specific inhibitor...