22 Oct 2018

Evaluating the safety of ibrutinib in leukemia and lymphoma

Evaluating the safety of ibrutinib in leukemia and lymphoma

This study looked at the evidence for the safety of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) in the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Researchers found that this drug is safe to use in these patients.

Leukemia and lymphoma are types of cancer of the bone marrow. They can lead to abnormal immune cells in the blood. Ibrutinib is a drug which targets certain proteins on these cancer cells to destroy them. It is important to research the safety of using this medication compared to other drugs.

This study analyzed 4 other trials that compared the safety of ibrutinib to other treatments. 756 patients with CLL (82%) or MCL (18%) were treated with ibrutinib. These were compared to 749 patients who were treated with a different drug such as ofatumumab (Arzerra) or chlorambucil (Leukeran). Patients on ibrutinib were followed for an average of 13.3 months. Patients not treated with ibrutinib were followed for an average of 5.8 months. Safety and side effects were recorded.

7% of patients on ibrutinib had a dose reduction compared to 14% on another drug. 12% of patients on ibrutinib stopped their treatment compared to 16% of differently treated patients. Serious side effects were reported in 47% of patients treated with ibrutinib and 40% in those treated with other drugs. The most common side effects with ibrutinib treatment were diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, and high blood pressure.

The study concluded that ibrutinib was a safe treatment option for patients with CLL or MCL.