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Targeting the Microenvironment in CLL: Preclinical Experience Using Animal Models

The Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor ibrutinib was recently approved by FDA for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Patients receiving this treatment often develop lymphocytosis and reduced organomegaly. Mechanism(s) responsible for these actions however are not clear. In this talk, we will show in vivo evidence of ibrutinib-impaired CLL cell homing and retention and suggest a mechanism by which BTK targeted therapy affects both BCR and chemokine receptor signaling. Overall, preclinical evidence suggest that CLL patients, especially high risk patients can benefit from agents targeting the microenvironment.

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