Have there been any advances in treating Richter’s transformation in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients? Dr. Seema Bhat discusses emerging approaches.
Dr. Seema Bhat is a hematologist at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – The James. Learn more about Dr. Bhat here.
Sophia wants to know, “Are there any clinical trials regarding Richter’s, or DLBCL, transformation?”
So, Richter’s transformation means when CLL, which is a low-grade disease, changes into high-grade lymphoma, and most commonly it’s “diffuse large B-cell lymphoma,” or DLBCL. Currently available treatments for Richter’s transformation are, unfortunately, sub-optimal. So, clinical trials to find better treatments are critical for this division, and there are a number of these currently going on. For example, some trials add targeted agents to the backbone of standard chemotherapy called, “R-CHOP.”
So, we have one trial where acalabrutinib is being added. There’s another clinical trial where venetoclax is being combined with R-CHOP. One of the problems with Richter’s transformation is that it tends to be refractory to treatment, and it tends to come back or relapse. So, there are studies ongoing for relapse treatment as well, with combination of targeted agents. And CAR-T therapy, we just talked about that, is also being studied in Richter’s transformation. So, there’s a lot going on to improve the outcome for this.