Promising therapies for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Fortunato Morabito, Anna Grazia Recchia, Ernesto Vigna, Laura De Stefano, Sabrina Bossio, Lucio Morabito, Mariavaleria Pellicanò, Angela Palummo, Francesca Storino, Nadia Caruso, Massimo Gentile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The combination schedule of fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab is the gold standard of therapy for younger, physically fit chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients; it allows achieving high and durable complete response rates. Although treatment outcome has considerably improved with chemo-immunotherapy, most patients eventually relapse and CLL is still incurable. Thus, newer and more rationally developed drugs are needed to improve CLL therapy, particularly in cases of relapsed/refractory disease. Areas covered: The authors review preclinical and clinical data regarding newer CLL agents, currently undergoing examination, such as: signal transduction and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, immunomodulatory agents, B-cell lymphoma 2 inhibitors, next generation mAbs, heat shock protein 90 and histone deacetylase inhibitors, and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy. Expert opinion: Newer compounds with different mechanisms of action, such as B-cell receptor signal transduction inhibitors, lenalidomide, next generation mAbs and several pro-apoptotic molecules, have shown efficacy in relapsed or refractory CLL patients. Several studies are under way to investigate the efficacy of combinations of these novel drugs. Hopefully, the combined use of these molecules in risk-adapted treatment strategies will change the therapeutic approach in the near future and will pave the way for a long-term control of CLL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-807
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015


  • B-cell lymphoma-2 inhibitors
  • B-cell receptor signal transduction inhibitors
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Lenalidomide
  • MAbs
  • Pro-apoptotic molecules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)


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