Promising results for acalabrutinib in people with relapsed or refractory CLL

AstraZeneca announced interim results from their phase 3 ASCEND trial at the European Hematology Association Congress #EHA24 last month

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AstraZeneca announced interim results from their phase 3 ASCEND trial at the European Hematology Association Congress last month and there are promising results for acalabrutinib in people with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

Acalabrutinib is a type of targeted drug called a cell signal blocker. It targets a protein called BTK. It works by blocking signals that help B cells to stay alive and divide. It is given as a tablet.

The ASCEND trial compared acalabrutinib on its own to standard treatment with rituximab plus either idelalisib or bendamustine in people with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) that had come back (relapsed) or had not responded (refractory) to previous treatment.

The trial found that acalabrutinib reduced the risk of lymphoma progression or death by 69% compared to rituximab plus idelalisib or bendamustine. Overall, 88% of people treated with acalabrutinib remained free of disease progression after 12 months. This compared to 68% of people who were treated with rituximab plus idelalisib or bendamustine.

Acalabrutinib was generally well tolerated. Common side effects included headache, low neutrophil count (neutropenia), diarrhoea, low red blood cell count (anaemia) and cough.

The study concluded that acalabrutinib significantly improves the length of time people with relapsed or refractory CLL live without disease progression compared with rituximab plus idelalisib or bendamustine.

To find out more about clinical trials for lymphoma, or to search for a trial that might be suitable for you visit Lymphoma TrialsLink.

17 July 2019