How Long Will Remission Last? Understanding CLL Risk Factors

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Topics include: Living With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

During this highlight from our “Relapses in CLL: Allaying Fears & Taking Action” program, Dr. Nitin Jain, from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, offers an expert perspective on the average remission duration for different subsets of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. Watch now to find out more.

This program is sponsored by Pharmacyclics. This organization has no editorial control. It is produced solely by Patient Power.

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:        

So, first of all, you can’t really predict when somebody’s gonna relapse, right? You can maybe have some factors—maybe if you have the 17p deletion, or there may be other factors, it’s gonna be more aggressive your case. You may not get a remission for as long, although I know the treatments are changing. So, CLL typically is not cured, right? So, frequently, while you might get a long remission like I did, at some point, you might need something else, right, Dr. Jain?

Dr. Jain:                     

Yeah, I think that would be a fair statement on average. I think remission in CLL certainly could be very long-lasting, such as with FCR, and you had a 17-year remission, but obviously, your disease came back after 17 years. I think in general, CLL is considered not a curable disease outside of getting a bone marrow transplantation, which is certainly being used less and less just because of the complications associated with bone marrow transplant.

At the same time, I would say there is this thinking—especially in the young crit patients, who are mutated IgVH, and that’s a specific genetic subtype of CLL. Patients who are young and take FCR chemoimmunotherapy—I think what we have seen the data from Dr. Keating in our group here is that almost half of these patients are remission-free 10-plus years down the line.

Now, certainly, there will be an occasional patient who will relapse after 10 years, but half of the patients are staying in remission, so people will start to use—I was in a meeting with Dr. Kanti Rai, and I think to create a functional cure for patients who have not received any treatment in 10-plus years, they’re in remission, maybe we can think that the majority of them may stay in remission. But again, there are no guarantees with CLL.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on August 27, 2019