This week on the CLL Society website, I present my contrarian thoughts on the "bright future" for those of us with CLL.
My concern and that of many of the researchers that I spoke with at the large gathering of CLL experts from around the world at iwCLL 2015 in Sydney, Australia was that we might be victims of our success.
Because drugs such as ibrutinib and idelalisib and obinutuzumab are already approved in many countries and offer pretty spectacular results, pharmaceutical companies may be less willing to invest the billions of dollars it takes to bring a new drug to market. New meds likely will need to demonstrate superior results to existing therapies or meet an unmet need or treat a small unserved niche of patients or be lower cost to be approved and adopted by the CLL community.
Because of our amazing recent successes, research funds may start to dry up in CLL, with funders seeing it as a mostly solved problem.
But is it hardly solved. So many needs and questions persist.
More research and more money will be needed to answer the many unanswered critical questions beginning with: Where’s our cure?
At iwCLL 2015, all the doctors that I interviewed and you will soon be seeing on our website including Dr. Kanti Rai tells us of our bright future, but in my commentary and my video I take a bit of a different view.
Please take a look here cllsociety.org/2015/09/repo... and be sure to watch my associated video.
Also, one final reminder off the CLL patient forum this Saturday in Seattle with Dr. Pagel. For information, please click here: cllsociety.org/wp-content/u...
I hope to see some of you in Brooklyn the following week at LRF’s North American Educational Forum on Lymphoma, October 2 - 4, 2015 at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
And finally. please, please sign up for the CLL Society's inaugural newsletter: cllsociety.org/newsletter-s... . It will be full of good stuff from your fellow patients, caregivers and a great Q+A on ibrutinib with Dr. Byrd and an up to the minute interview from iwCLL with Dr. Jennifer Brown on idelalisib.
We are all in this together.