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New Ibrutinib Combination Regimen Shows Substantial Benefits in Relapsed CLL

An interim analysis of a large phase III study suggests that the combination of ibrutinib and bendamustine/rituximab (BR) improves outcomes for patients with chronic-lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that worsened despite prior therapy.

At a median follow-up of 17 months, patients who received ibrutinib and BR had an 80% lower risk of disease progression or death than those who received placebo and BR. Based on this striking benefit, patients were permitted to cross over from the placebo group to receive ibrutinib.