CLL SUPPORT ASSOCIATION
Friday 10th March 2017
10.00am – 4.00pm
Cambridge City Hotel, 20 Downing St,
Cambridge, England, CB2 3DT
The meeting was opened by David Innes as chairman of the CLLSA. This was followed by a presentation by Dr Follows talking about CLL - The disease and its treatment in 2017 and beyond. The afternoon session started with facilitated small group discussions. An opportunity to share tips for coping with CLL and was then followed by three stories from individuals affected by CLL.
Dr George Follows, Clinical Lead, Lymphoma / CLL Service Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Dr Follows is the Clinical Lead for Research for the West Anglia Cancer Research Network and from 2012 to 2016 was Chair of the UK CLL Forum.
The disease and its treatment in 2017 and beyond.
Many questions were answered from the floor during the presentation.
Dr Follows starts with an explanation of where leukaemias originate and the differences between acute and chronic leukaemias. Dr Follows goes on to look at the typical CLL patient and how there is a large range of presentations and progressions and touches on familial risk and the effect of the diagnosis on wellbeing.
The use of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to identify chromosomal abnormalities is explained and how they are of most use when selecting an appropriate treatment. CLL patients fall into 2 groups based on whether there Immunoglobulin V gene is mutated or not as unmutated generally have a more aggressive CLL.
The quality of life, cll burden and symptoms will all be considered when deciding if treatment is required. An appropriate treatment/trial would be from a negotiation between the patient and medical team bearing in mind 'fit'ness for treatment and test result.
Current treatment options in the UK are covered in detail including the NICE status of the new treatments including Ibrutinib, Venetoclax