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

Investigators on the CLL Moon Shot team are rendering the chemotherapy approach to CLL obsolete with new targeted therapies and immunotherapy approaches that have fewer and less harsh side effects. They’ve launched a 208-patient clinical trial with ibrutinib, a recently approved drug that produces durable responses with less toxicity, to test it in combination therapy and understand how CLL resists treatment.

Learn more about the studies underway in the CLL Moon Shot. 

About Leukemia (CLL)

A slow killer

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

Michael Keating, M.D., professor of Leukemia, discusses new advances in treating CLL, including alternatives to chemotherapy and using one’s own immune system to fight this disease