Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Coverage from Every Angle

Ibrutinib Therapy for CLL: Real-World Outcomes From Denmark

By: Jenna Carter, PhD
Posted: Monday, October 5, 2020

Carsten Utoft Niemann, MD, PhD, of Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark, and colleagues conducted a multicenter, retrospective cohort study to assess real-world outcomes in nearly 200 patients with CLL treated with ibrutinib. Their findings, which were published in the European Journal of Haematology, highlighted that the use of ibrutinib in this group yielded comparable, yet slightly inferior, outcomes compared with clinical trials across other countries within Europe. In addition, they found similar rates of adverse events with those from clinical trials as well as an increased risk of infections during the first 6 months of therapy.

Dr. Niemann and colleagues stated that: “Adverse events are a major cause of discontinuation in this study leading to higher discontinuation rates than reported in clinical trials. This finding warrants improved patient education and information about [the] management of ibrutinib and possible adverse events.”

A total of 205 patients treated for CLL (199) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (6) across 8 hospitals in Denmark were included in this study. Researchers examined medical records and compiled data pertaining to diagnoses, comorbidities, treatment regimens, and other pertinent information that may influence adverse events and overall survival.

Their findings revealed a median overall survival of 48.3 months, and the estimated overall survival rates at 12 months and 24 months were 88.8% (95% confidence interval = 84.3%–93.3%) and 76.8% (95% confidence interval = 70.4%–83.2%), respectively. Follow-up analyses revealed that 97.6% of patients had at least one adverse event following ibrutinib therapy, and 48.8% of patients had at least one grade 3 event. During ibrutinib treatment, 86 patients (42.0%) discontinued its use, 47 (54.7%) due to adverse events and 19 (22.1%) due to progression to Richter transformation.

Disclosure: For full disclosure of the study authors, visit

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