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Novel agents in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.


The advent of novel small-molecule inhibitors has transformed the treatment approaches for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). These therapies are becoming increasingly used in patients with relapsed disease, patients with 17p deletion, and, as of recently, also in the frontline setting for previously untreated patients with CLL. Moreover, many of these are oral therapies that are significantly less myelosuppressive than chemoimmunotherapy. However, these agents have their own set of unique toxicities with which providers must gain familiarity. There is also ongoing development of second-generation agents which have the promise of less toxicity than the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved compounds. In addition, immunotherapy and the role of the microenvironment are becoming increasingly important and have therapeutic implications in the treatment of patients with CLL. Ultimately, investigators need to evaluate how to position these and other new exciting therapies and decide on the ultimate role for chemoimmunotherapy in modern times.

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