Expert Point of View: Jennifer R. Brown, MD, PhD

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Jennifer R. Brown, MD, PhD

Commenting on the CLL 11 trial in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Jennifer R. Brown, MD, PhD, Director of the CLL Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, said she agreed with first author Valentin Goede, MD, that in this study, replacing rituximab (Rituxan) with obinutuzumab (Gazyva) in combination with the same chemotherapy backbone demonstrated the superiority of obinutuzumab.

“This is a fair assessment of the study results. Prior to this, we thought it would be hard for any other anti-CD20 drug to beat rituximab. In this population, obinutuzmab clearly did. Going forward in other contexts, it will be important to see how obinutuzumab behaves,” she said.

“With all the new therapies for CLL, it is an exciting time,” Dr. Brown continued. “We don’t know how best to sequence them yet. This will depend on the patterns of resistance. Combinations of these agents are of great interest in CLL, and studies including obinutuzumab are being planned. Stay tuned,” she said. ■

Disclosure: Dr. Brown has served as a consultant for Gilead Sciences.

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Obinutuzumab (Gazyva) plus chloramubucil outperformed rituximab (Rituxan) plus chlorambucil (Leukeran) as first-line therapy in older patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and comorbidities in the large CLL 11 trial. Final results showed that obinutuzumab/chloramubucil improved overall...




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