Skip to Content


Ibrutinib and rituximab show huge promise in CLL study

Drug combination triggers 95% response rate

 Jan Burger, M.D., Ph.D.

By Scott Merville

Nearly all of the high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients in a phase II clinical trial responded to treatment with the targeted therapy ibrutinib and the antibody rituximab. MD Anderson researchers reported their findings in December at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in New Orleans.

“This combination improves on the already excellent response rate from ibrutinib alone,” says Jan Burger, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in Leukemia.

Burger leads a new combination trial launched in December that will compare ibrutinib with ibrutinib plus rituximab in more than 200 previously treated CLL patients. The study is part of MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program.

 Click on the image to learn how ibrutinib and rituximab work together to fight CLL.

Burger receives research funding from Pharmacyclics, a biopharmaceutical company that produces ImbruvicaTM (ibrutinib).

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center