Best treatment time for chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Best treatment time for chronic lymphocytic leukemiaManu Mitru

Without a doubt, this is the sweetest moment in a patient’s treatment and life expectancy chronic lymphocytic leukemiaThere is no cure for this disease, but second-generation drugs have been used to replace chemotherapy and improve quality of life for people with this disease. Despite these huge medical advances, research has not stopped, and experts predict even greater advances in treatment and duration over the next decade.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is more common than you think.In fact, it is estimated More than 20,000 people in Spain have the disease. Although you may feel scared when you hear the words leukemia or blood cancer during a consultation, it is one thing to be diagnosed with the disease and quite another to develop it. It is for this reason that medical professionals and researchers are optimistic both now and in the near future: in just ten years, it may be possible to replace chemotherapy and extend patients’ life expectancy.

It’s an optimistic message from the organization Guest expert Participated by EL PERIODICO partners with biopharmaceutical company BeiGene, during an event commemorating the newspaper’s 45th anniversary.under title “Progress and Needs in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia”health professionals invited to the event made it very clear that when we talk about treating patients with this disease, things have never been better.

“Very important advances have been made in treatment and this continues,” said Pau Abrisqueta, director of the Department of Hematology and Hematology Therapy at Barcelona’s Valle Hebron Hospital. “In recent years, The disease and treatments have changed a lot and are definitely getting worse.”

“There is a very positive investigation and I’m sure it will improve even more”

Paul Abrisqueta.Director of the Department of Hematology and Blood Therapy, Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Barcelona

In the same sense, Dr. Josep Maria Roncero, a hematologist at the Josep Trueta Hospital in Girona, wants to send “a very positive message” to patients and families, since “today, the life expectancy of patients with this disease is” in large numbers For the most part they are not restricted, they have a good quality of life, their lives are not significantly affected,” he said.


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) accounts for approximately one-third of leukemia cases that occur each year. Although the word cancer is scary, chronic lymphocytic leukemia can go without any disease manifestations in most patients for long periods of time, either because its presence has not been discovered or because its clinical behavior is characterized by slow growth or no evidence of growth, once If found, chronic lymphocytic leukemia will occur. Confirmed.

Abrisqueta admits: “When a person receives a diagnosis in a consultation, the word leukemia has a very strong impact.” It is for this reason, he emphasizes Good doctor-patient communication needs to be established. “Since most patients do not require treatment from a diagnosis perspective, a good explanation of the disease is important to reduce the emotional burden they bear,” Abrisqueta concluded. “The patient is putting some of their pain on you and letting themselves go,” Roncero explains. “If you communicate well, the patient will accept it well,” he adds.

“In eight years we have made important leaps forward, and this is an unimaginable horizon”

Josep M. Roncero.Hematologist at ICO Josep Trueta University Hospital, Girona

And how is this disease diagnosed? Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, like any blood disease, detected by analysis Changes, often out of control due to other problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure. “An increase in white blood cells (defense cells) was detected: this was the first sign of alarm and we were referred to a hematologist,” Abrisqueta clarified. It must be considered that the vast majority of diagnosed patients do not require treatment. “We only need treatment when the disease is causing a problem, and some patients never need treatment,” concludes Hebron Valley Hematology and Blood Therapeutics Chief.

“Many of them have a check-up every six months, but they go on to live a normal life, and the only problem with chronic disease is the need for regular check-ups,” Paul Abrisqueta noted.

Related pathology

What is your daily life like?”In addition to the progression of the disease itself, patients are at higher risk of developing infections or heart attacks,” Abrisqueta explains. This must be taken into account CLL primarily affects older adults, The average patient age at diagnosis was 72 years. It is for this reason that in addition to this disease, affected people suffer from other common medical problems such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, osteoarthritis, chronic bronchitis, stomach or digestive system disorders, among others outside.

Josep Maria Roncero concluded that as a patient with a higher average age, “you are limited in what you can do, not only by a medical condition but also by a social condition”, and because of this he noted the increasing need for “multidisciplinary management” . In this sense, “we have opened ourselves up to other specialists to comprehensively address this pathology”, since the treatments used are not without side effects and some of them require the cooperation of other professionals, such as cardiologists or geriatrics Home. “A more global perspective is becoming increasingly important,” concludes the hematologist from Wald Hebron.

a revolution

Treatment of this disease has changed over the past decade. If it was based on chemotherapy or chemoimmunotherapy about ten years ago, “the proportion of patients now receiving chemotherapy is almost zero”, explains the head of the Department of Hematology and Blood Therapy at Vall d’Hebron Hospital. “Currently the drugs we use target more of the biological target of the disease,” he added, recalling that “chemotherapy cannot be so targeted and has many side effects, whereas today’s treatments are more direct.”

“The revolution brought about by the discovery of new drugs has made it possible for hematologists and patients to have more treatment options that are better and broader than chemotherapy,” explains Josep Maria Roncero, noting that these solutions only became available a few years ago. Second- and third-generation drugs targeting the molecular level have extremely low and controllable toxicity and amazing effects. ”

However, we cannot ignore the fact that this is a chronic disease. “These treatments do not cure the disease,” both medical professionals insisted. But previously, only chemotherapy was available, a treatment that can affect a patient’s health. Quality of Life The patient’s response became worse and worse, and the patient’s death was inevitable.

“A few years ago, these treatments were a dream. We went through a period where most patients died of the disease unless they died of old age,” Roncero said, concluding that “very important progress has been made is a leap forward, but treatment options may further improve these patients and their quality of life.”

In this sense, next October, the World Congress on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia will be held in Boston, USA. In the near future, from 26 to 28 October, Seville will host hematology congresses, in particular the 65th National Congress of the Spanish Society of Hematology and Hematology (SEHH) and the 39th Congress of the Spanish Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (Seth). It is expected to reveal the steps taken for scientific research in this area.

In this sense, hematologist Josep Maria Roncero appreciates the “very positive research that is going on.” “I believe it will make even greater progress in the coming years,” he said.

Mid-term responsibilities will be adopted Find new treatment options Experts agree that only a minority of patients lose response to these new drugs. Abrisqueta noted that “novel therapies using novel tyrosine kinase inhibitors are being developed to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia.” On the other hand, Abrisqueta said, “Part of the development of treatments is more based on immunotherapy, which is an option that can be offered to patients.” New aspects of new choices.”

do research

The fundamental role of collaborative research groups such as GELLC (Spanish Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Study Group) was another point discussed at the meeting, as it takes educational actions for hematologists who are not experts in CLL, but above all their work can Links to conduct research. “It’s important to be able to bring multiple centers together and be able to Get your act together and prepare to research The impact is greater,” comments Abrisqueta. Also at the clinical level, the importance of these groups is that they can design independent studies, aspects that medical professionals feel are not well covered.

Another association, but on the patient side, can provide great support to people affected by this pathology and their families. AEAL (Hispanic Association of Patients with Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia) was founded in October 2002 by patients. For more than 20 years, the Society has been providing education, information and support to patients with oncohematological disorders.

The roundtable concluded with new good omens for the near future: “In these ten years we will complete the great revolution of LLC. This will be the end of the patient’s journey with an unfortunate prognosis.” Josep Maria Josep Maria Roncero said.

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