Richard R. Furman, M.D., the Morton Coleman, M.D. Distinguished Associate Professor of Medicine, talks to OncLive about the use of prognostic markers in the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The goal is to make it so that prognostic markers are no longer prognostic, which is actually a good thing for the field, Furman explains. This is because with the current novel therapies available, there are responses amongst all patients. The question, however, is how long will these responses last? Furman says that the hope is for researchers to identify which patients may require more aggressive treatment than a BTK inhibitor or a BCR antagonist alone. These patients may also be at an increased risk for developing Richter's transformation. Therefore, they may require a different treatment approach in order for them to have long-term and positive outcomes.
Furman, director of the CLL Research Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, also gave a more extensive interview following a lecture at the 2017 OncLive® State of the Science Summit on Hematologic Malignancies about the continued evolution of the field of CLL and how physicians decide on the optimal treatment sequence for their patients. Read the whole report here.