Leukemia (CLL)

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An Oral Medicine for People With Relapsed CLL: Idelalisib

Dr. Matthew Davids Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Idelalisib is an oral medication that’s FDA-approved for patients with relapsed CLL–and it’s given in combination with rituximab. While idelalisib is generally very effective, patients have reported a handful of side effects that could be a cause for concern–including diarrhea, which can lead to colitis, as well as liver irritation and lung inflammation. However, Dr. Matthew Davids, the Associate Director of the Center for CLL at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, says these side effects are rare and the treatment has a high success rate.

It’s important to note that idelalisib is not available for previously untreated patients because trials in that setting showed increased death rates due to infection. All trials exploring idelalisib in the frontline setting were shut down. The increased rates of death due to infection were not seen in trials done in the relapsed setting.


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Dr. Matthew Davids is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Associate Director of the Dana-Farber CLL Center. Read More

Treatment: Oral Medications

For patients diagnosed with CLL, the go-to treatment option is usually some form of chemo-immunotherapy. But this is not an option for all patients.


Oral Medicine for Relapsed CLL: Venetoclax


Oral Medicine for CLL: Ibrutinib


Oral Medicine for Relapsed CLL

Dr. Matthew Davids
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute