Mark G. Frattini, MD, PhD
Many methods have been used to attempt to predict the future including crystal balls, tarot cards, etc. However, for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the answer may lie in a set of markers that can be used to guide therapy for their disease.
Today at 2:00 p.m. and again on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in Auditorium 320 of the Orange County Convention Center, Dr. Richard Furman from Weill Medical College of Cornell University will chair a session outlining the recent advances in CLL. The discussion will entail recent advances in the biology of CLL, the clinical management of younger patients with CLL, and finally the incorporation of known and novel prognostic markers in the treatment of patients with CLL.
Dr. Mark Lanasa from Duke University Medical Center will open the session with a review of the advances in the understanding of the biology of CLL. This will include a model of how multiple factors (acquired, environmental, immunologic, and inherited) play a role in the pathogenesis of CLL. In addition, he will discuss the role of B-cell receptor signaling in this disease and how the tumor microenvironment promotes both survival and chemo-resistance of CLL cells.
Next, Dr. Alessandra Ferrajoli from MD Anderson Cancer Center will discuss the treatment of younger patients with CLL. Since CLL is usually considered a disease of the elderly, she will focus on the unique differences in the biology of CLL in this younger group of patients. Dr. Ferrajoli will review the various treatment options, including allogeneic stem cell transplantation, that should be considered in treating these patients.
Dr. Furman will conclude the session by reviewing both the classic as well as some novel prognostic markers that are being used with this patient population. He will discuss why obtaining this data makes sense biologically and how this information can be used to effectively guide therapy for patients with CLL.
It appears that the future of patients with CLL is becoming more clear and includes treatment modification for younger patients and the use of a set of expanding prognostic markers to tailor therapy and ideally, treatment response.
Dr. Frattini indicated no relevant conflicts of interest.