Survival Rates for CLL Improved With Advent of Oral Targeted Therapies


A poster presentation at the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting discussed survival trends among patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Survival rates for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have improved with the advent of available oral targeted therapies, according to an abstract presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

The data was presented virtually in a poster session during the meeting, which is being held from June 4-8, 2021.

New approvals of targeted therapies for first-line treatment of CLL and relapsed disease have represented major progress toward improving the likelihood of survival for patients. For the study, investigators conducted a corresponding analysis from the US population-based SEER database to examine survival trends and the effect of these treatment advances on overall survival (OS) in patients.

All patients 15 years or older with a primary diagnosis of CLL with or without subsequent cancers were included in the analysis. The investigators used the data to estimate the 5- and 10-year relative survival rates for those diagnosed during different calendar periods from 1985 to 2017, based on gender and age at time of diagnosis. Age categories were grouped as 45 to 54, 55 to 64, 65 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 years or older.

Overall, the 5-year adjusted survival rate among male patients improved progressively from 72.0% to 88.2% and from 76.8% to 90.8% for female patients. Corresponding 10-year age-adjusted relative survival rates were 47.3% and 72.5% for males and 58.2% and 78.7% for females.

The investigators concluded that survival rates significantly improved among patients diagnosed after 2004 who were treated during the era of advanced CLL therapies. Moreover, female patients and younger patients had a higher likelihood of long-term survival.


1. Alrawashdh N, McBride A, Persky DO, et al. Survival trends in chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the era of oral targeted therapies in the United States: SEER database analyses (1985 to 2017). 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting; June 4-8, 2021; virtual. Accessed June 1, 2021.

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