Doctors and scientists from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and UW Medicine are testing new treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and small lymphocytic leukemia (SLL) and finding new ways to use current treatments.
Through this work, we are looking for answers to two main questions: How can we do even better at controlling these diseases? How can we make treatments less toxic and easier on patients?
We have been part of, and led, many clinical trials of promising therapies that later became the standard of care.
We have many clinical trials testing dozens of approaches to CLL/SLL. Some of the therapies we are studying are:
- Early intervention for people with high-risk CLL
- Novel (new) targeted therapies and new combinations that get good results, even though they only need to be taken for a limited time
- Immunotherapies, including antibody therapies, immune checkpoint inhibitors and cellular immunotherapies, like CAR T-cell therapy
- Blood and marrow transplant regimens (treatment plans)
When your care team designs your treatment plan, they will give you the choice to join clinical trials that match your situation. If you decide to join one, you will see the same doctors and nurses as you would for standard therapy.
Your care team will talk with you about if you might want to join a study and why. This can help you make the decision that is best for you.
Current treatment options of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) go far beyond chemotherapy. Thanks to novel agents like ibrutinib, acalabrutinib and venetoclax, there are now chemotherapy-free treatment options that can potentially minimize treatment time and side effects for every patient with CLL.
Times have changed. Starting in the early 2000s, advances in blood and marrow transplants have made them less toxic and opened up the procedure to nearly everyone. This has saved and lengthened lives.
A CLL Patient’s CAR T-cell Therapy Success Story
Mike Boston came to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for an early, experimental CAR T-cell therapy clinical trial after other treatments stopped working against his disease. Hear what his experience was like with this therapy, which he says saved his life.