Cost-effective biomarker driven treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the era of precision medicine

Principal Investigator: 

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia in the Western world. Ibrutinib, a new drug that works differently from chemotherapy, is a major breakthrough for CLL treatment and allows patients to live longer; however, it comes at a high cost to the BC health system.

Objective

  • Our goal is to determine which patients benefit most from ibrutinib at what point in their disease, so that ibrutinib, and other drugs like it, are given to the right patients at the right time and avoided in those who will only suffer side effects.

Methods

  • We will analyze the impact of ibrutinib on the BC CLL population including patterns of use, side effects and survival. We will perform genomic testing on samples from CLL patients on ibrutinib to find gene mutations that develop over time that may help predict who will respond well. Finally, we will combine this information to determine the overall cost of ibrutinib to the BC population, particularly when treatment is targeted to those who will benefit most.

Impact

  • This approach is crucial to ensure ibrutinib is affordable for healthcare systems and accessible for all those who need it, ultimately leading to improved quality of life and survival of CLL patients.
Host Institution: 
BC Cancer
Research Location: 
BC Cancer Research Centre
Year: 
2020