Created: 14 January 2017
The targeted cancer therapy ibrutinib (Imbruvica®) can effectively treat a common and serious complication of a type of stem cell transplant, findings from a small clinical trial show. Patients in the trial had blood cancers and were experiencing symptoms of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after receiving a transplant of donated blood stem cells, known as an allogeneic transplant. The patients’ symptoms—including widespread skin rashes and painful mouth ulcers—had persisted despite standard treatment with corticosteroids. Following treatment with ibrutinib, approximately two-thirds of patients in the trial experienced improvements in their GVHD-related symptoms. In 21% of these patients, the symptoms resolved entirely. And the symptom relief was enduring, lasting for up to 5 months or longer in many patients, according to results reported in DecemberExit Disclaimer at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting.