Treatment of elderly patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia: An unmet cinical need

Stefano Molica, Maura Brugiatelli, Fortunato Morabito, Felicetto Ferrara, Emilio Iannitto, Nicola Di Renzo, Silvana Capalbo, Pellegrino Musto, Francesco Di Raimondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most prevalent lymphoid malignancy in western countries, patients have a median age at diagnosis of 72 years. In the last few years, there has been remarkable progress in understanding the biology of CLL, the detection of molecular prognostic factors and the development of more effective therapies. However, many of the milestone studies were conducted in populations that were considerably younger than the average age of the CLL population. Today, the challenge is to improve management of elderly patients. In this population, outcome of treatment with newer highly effective therapies is often compromised by comorbidities and poor performance status. Decision on how elderly patients should be treated is thus a complex issue. The management of these patients should rely on the development of risk-stratified treatment strategies based on the assessment of individual functional status and the biologic characteristics of CLL. New single agents with reduced toxic effects (i.e., inhibitors of BCR signalling) that have achieved promising results in Phase I/II studies when available should modify the paradigm of the treatment of elderly patients with CLL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-449
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Hematology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • CLL treatment
  • elderly
  • fitness status
  • New therapeutic agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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