Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is a type of cancer in which too many white blood cells are produced. These cells develop abnormally and are unable to function and fight infection. They also prevent the production of other healthy blood cells. As the disease is chronic, it develops very slowly over time. CLL is one of the most common type of leukaemia in adults, usually occurring in the elderly population. High risk CLL is cancer that does not get better with treatment. General symptoms of CLL include: fatigue, frequent infections, swollen lymph nodes (commonly in the neck, armpits and groin), anaemia, easy bruising/bleeding, enlarged spleen (causing tender lump in upper left abdomen), night sweats and weight loss.
The combination of ublituximab (intravenous infusions) and ibrutinib (oral capsules) is being developed as a new treatment option for patients with high risk CLL. Both drugs act in different unique ways to improve the body’s natural defence to fight the cancer cells and their combined effect may significantly reduce symptoms of the disease and increase survival. If licensed, the combination of ublituximab and ibrutinib will offer an additional treatment option for patients with high risk CLL who have received other previous treatment. This combination has the potential to improve effectiveness by offering a quicker time to response and a greater depth of response compared with ibrutinib alone.
Pembrolizumab is a drug administered by intravenous infusion which stimulates the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. If licensed, pembrolizumab in addition to chemotherapy could provide an additional or alternative treatment option to patients who currently have limited treatment options.