Monday, November 19, 2012

Ibrutinib (PCI 32765) Rapidly Improves Platelet Counts in CLL/SLL Patients and Has Minimal Effects On Platelet Aggregation

Apparently, judging by some of the emails that I received, my epistaxis (bloody nose) generated some general concern, so I am glad to be able to say that I am no longer walking around with a tissue at the constant ready, and more importantly, I have some reassuring research to share from an ASH 2012 abstract.

No less an expert than Dr. Mohammed Farooqui from the NIH did the study titled Ibrutinib (PCI 32765) Rapidly Improves Platelet Counts in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia / Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (CLL/SLL) Patients and Has Minimal Effects On Platelet Aggregation without any pharma support that looked at not only at platelet counts, but also how well they actually function or aggregate, a critical step in clot formation, and other measures of their activity. He found what yours truly had suggested in my last post.

Although grade 1 or 2 (mild or moderate and not dangerous or disabling) bruising is a known adverse event seen with an ibrutinib, Dr. Farooqui found in looking at 25 volunteers in the NIH trial who were taking 420 mg a day that " This preliminary report does not identify any significant ibrutinib effect on platelet function." Equally important, platelet counts rapidly improved. He concludes by saying something very similar to what I gathered from the old literature that I referenced in my last post:  A rough day: Bloody nose times two and a tender rash minutes before my CLL and MDS lectures in Chicago. I quote the last line of the ASH abstract: "The apparent functional tolerance of BTK inhibition in platelets is likely attributable to redundancy in the affected signaling pathways." What I said was "there are also clearly redundant pathways and signaling to get a healthy thrombus going in response to an arterial injury."  Like minded, except Dr. Farooqui has the lab data to support his finding.

Here's another thing I really liked about his abstract beside the reassurance on the platelet issue.

"This work was supported by the Intramural Research Program of NHLBI, NIH. We thank our patients for participating in these research studies." 

They not only funded the research themselves because they thought it was important, but they thanked the patients. That is so rare and so welcome. I would have to call Dr. Mohammed Farooqui and his team at the NIH (including my old friend, Dr. Wiestner) mensches (Yiddish for a good people).

Now you might argue that I should have read all the ASH abstracts that mention ibrutinib by now and you would make a good point. I am therefore most grateful to the reader who pointed me to this particular research after reading my last post. In my defense, I have been a tad busy with travel and teaching. I guarantee that all the ASH abstracts that mention CLL will be read with more than a few reviews presented here over the next few weeks.

As my more constant reader can perhaps tell from my upbeat tone, I am feeling much better with not only no more bloody noses or other issues with which to deal, but thankfully with a rested mind and body.

Nothing like a good night's sleep and being home again with my wife and cat.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Look forward to your ASH reviews. One interesting abstract is that another institution (Memorial Sloan) seems to be stating a CLL MRD-negative success with engineered T-cells (with T-cell persistence also) like University of Penn last year if I am reading abstract correctly. ASH abstract at following address:

Your opinion on engineered T-cell progress in CLL during your ASH reviews would be welcome because a second institution achieving success in this T-cell area with CLL would be hopeful news even if preliminary.

November 20, 2012 at 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be sure to look up Dr. Farooqui at ASH .. he will be handling two of the NIH posters. You will like him and also find him very interesting and forthcoming. All the best, Lynn

November 22, 2012 at 9:40 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home