The medication Imbruvica® (ibrutinib) from AbbVie offers well-researched benefits for several blood cancers. Last month, my blog Potential New Medication for Lymphoma, shared how this medication was approved by the FDA in 2013 for mantle cell lymphoma, with approvals for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia coming in the following years. Now Imbruvica is undergoing an accelerated approval process for another form of lymphoma: marginal zone lymphoma.
While we are waiting for that approval process to be completed, additional research continues to be published about Imbruvica. Earlier this month, in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers shared the results from 10 years of following patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) who were initially treated with Imbruvica. CML is generally a slow-growing form of cancer and many people (with treatment) are able to continue living a long life.
Of these Imbruvica-treated CML patients, more than 83% were still alive at the 10-year follow-up. There were few adverse effects from this medication; those that did occur were most likely in the first year of treatment. This study indicates a positive long-term outlook for CML patients who start with this therapy.
Hochhaus A, Larson RA, Guillhot F, et al. Long-term outcomes of imatinib treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia. New Engl J Med 2017;376:917-27.