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CME: Updates in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) treatment paradigms


AN ACCREDITED UP-TO-DATE VERSION OF THIS TOPIC CAN BE FOUND AT: Targeting chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL): Approaches to care at different stages of the disease

Activity Description / Statement of Need:

In this online, self-learning activity:

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a diverse group of hematologic cancers in which B-cells accumulate in the blood, bone marrow, and lymphatic tissue, constituting as absolute lymphocytosis of mature-appearing lymphocytes with an appropriate immunophenotype. Elderly patients comprise the vast majority of those diagnosed with CLL with a median patient age of 71 years. Men have close to twice the risk of women of developing CLL, and there are over 21,000 cases per year, with an annual mortality rate in excess of 4,300. CLL is an indolent disease and often goes undetected for some time. The goals of therapy in treating patients with CLL are achievement and maintenance of prolonged remission while minimizing treatment-related toxicity.

This learning activity has been designed to update healthcare professionals’ knowledge of therapeutic options available for CLL and improve their competence and performance in treating the disease.

Target Audience:

The following HCPs: Medical oncologists and hematologists; physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists who practice in oncology; and other healthcare professionals who commonly encounter patients with CLL.

Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Genmab and AbbVie.

This activity is free of charge.

Release Date: July 21, 2021 -- Expiration Date: July 21, 2022

Faculty: Matthew Davids, MD, MMSc


Introduction, disclosures

Introduction content

  • Statistics
  • Clinical features: types, onset, risk factors, clinical presentation
  • Pathophysiology, cytogenetics (del [17p], TP53)
  • Diagnosis, staging, prognostic factors, and comorbidities relevant to treatment decision-making [Learning Objective #1]

Updates in treatment in patients with CLL [Learning Objectives #2 & 3]

  • Factors impacting treatment decision-making
  • Goals of therapy
  • Initial management in patients with active disease

·       Risk stratification

·       Very high risk: del(17p) or TP53 mutations

·       High risk: no del(17p) / TP53 mutation, unmutated immunoglobulin heavy chain variable (IGHV)

·       Standard risk: no del(17p) / TP53 mutation, mutated IGHV

·       Targeted therapy

·       Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibition (ibrutinib)

·       BCL2 inhibition (venetoclax)

·       CD-20 targeting (obinutuzumab, ofatumumab)

·       Chemoimmunotherapy

  • Assessment of patient response
  • A change of pace: Intolerance to initial therapy or disease progression
  • Relapsed/refractory: Therapies and treatment principles governing their selection

·       Prior treatment regimen(s)

·       Potential therapies

·       BTK inhibition (ibrutinib, acalabrutinib)

·       BCL2 inhibition (venetoclax)

·       PI3K inhibition (idelalisib, duvelisib)

·       Chemoimmunotherapy

  • Treatment advances: Emerging therapies and regimens

·       Ibrutinib + venetoclax

·       Chimeric antigen receptor T cells

  • The importance of personalizing treatment regimens: Cytogenetics, comorbidities, and treatment complications
  • Management of treatment complications and palliation of symptoms
  • Patient case(s)

Summary, conclusions, and best practice recap

Learning Objectives

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

  • List the characteristics that play a role in determining the staging, prognosis, and diagnosis of CLL
  • Describe the first-line therapy for the treatment of CLL, and apply it to a patient case
  • Recall treatments for the management of relapsed/refractory CLL, and formulate an individualized treatment regimen


ACCME Activity #201755572


Faculty Disclosure and Resolution of COI

As a provider of continuing medical education, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities. In accordance with this policy, faculty and educational planners must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, and any relationships with the commercial supporter of the activity. The intent of this disclosure is to provide the intended audience with information on which they can make their own judgments. Additionally, in the event a conflict of interest (COI) does exist, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure that the COI is resolved in order to ensure the integrity of the CME activity. For this CME activity, any COI has been resolved thru content review by ScientiaCME.

Faculty Disclosure: Matthew S. Davids, MD, MMSc, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, has received financial compensation for grant/research support from: Genentech, Pharmacyclics, TG Therapeutics, Verastem, BMS, MEI Pharma, Surface Oncology, Astra-Zeneca, Ascentage Pharma, Novartis; and honoraria from:  AbbVie, Genentech, Janssen, TG Therapeutics, Celgene, Astra-Zeneca, Verastem, Eli Lilly, Adaptive Biosciences, BeiGene, Novartis, Ascentage Pharma, Research to Practice, Takeda.

Off label use and/or investigational use in presentation: venetoclax, duvelisib, acalabrutinib, ibrutinib, obinutuzumab

Disclosures of Educational Planners: Charles Turck, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, President of ScientiaCME, has no relevant financial disclosures.

All relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

ScientiaCME adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CE activity, including faculty, planners, reviewers or others are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (commercial interests). All relevant conflicts of interest have been mitigated prior to the commencement of the activity.

Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Genmab and AbbVie.


  • Read the learning objectives above
  • Take the Pre-Test (optional). Completion of the pre-test will help us evaluate the knowledge gained by participating in this CME activity.
  • View the online activity. You may view this is in more than one session, and may pause or repeat any portion of the presentation if you need to.
  • Minimum participation threshold: Take the post-test. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass and proceed to the activity evaluation.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and CME registration. A CE certificate will be emailed to you immediately.

Cultural/Linguistic Competence & Health Disparities

System Requirements

Windows 7 or above
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Mac OS 10.2.8
Safari or Chrome or Firefox
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Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh

*Required to view Printable PDF Version

Perform Pre-Test (optional)

Please take a few minutes to participate in the optional pre-test. It will help us measure the knowledge gained by participating in this activity.

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