Progress Update
Leukemia CLL Moon Shot team member working in the lab

For older, previously untreated CLL patients, traditional chemotherapy has just been proven to be far less effective than a drug that had been approved earlier for relapsed CLL patients and those with mantle cell lymphoma. This is a notable achievement for the CLL Moon Shot as the team aims to replace current chemotherapy regimens with new targeted therapies and immunotherapies that have fewer and less harsh side effects.

In a multi-center, international, randomized Phase III study of 269 patients, ibrutinib, a kinase inhibitor, was significantly more effective than traditional chemotherapy with chlorambucil for untreated CLL patients.


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About Leukemia (CLL)

CLL develops slowly, creating defective white blood cells that can’t produce antibodies against infection. The average age of patients at diagnosis is 72. As more people age, more will develop CLL.

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Research Projects

We’re leading the attack against CLL by using new targeted therapies to combat relapsed or resistant disease. We’re launching innovative combination clinical trials and applying immunotherapy to find and kill cells that survive initial treatment.

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MD Anderson and the Moon Shots Program
Making Cancer History®

New knowledge and progress-enabling technologies make this the time to reduce cancer deaths. MD Anderson's comprehensive Moon Shots Program capitalizes on these novel resources as it builds on a 70-plus-year history of renowned expertise, lifesaving innovation and global impact.

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Leukemia CLL, Research Update

Our physicians and scientists were instrumental in the development and FDA approval of ibrutinib for treating CLL. Clinical trials at MD Anderson are further studying this promising new drug.

Leukemia CLL, Stories of Hope

Marion Meyer was diagnosed with CLL at age 59 and given three years to live. She came to MD Anderson from out of state “because life is worth the distance.” Read Marion’s story.

Marion Meyer, CLL patient, survivor
Leukemia CLL, Research Update

Jan Burger, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Leukemia, discusses the positive results from a combination clinical trial at MD Anderson that uses ibrutinib and rituximab to treat CLL patients. Learn more.

Leukemia CLL, Research Update

Watch a video of moon shot researchers presenting data from their clinical research during Institutional Grand Rounds at MD Anderson.