In recent years ibrutinib emerged as a paradigm shifting agent in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM). In clinical trials and in real-world studies ibrutinib proved to be an effective agent with an overall favourable tolerability profile. However, compared with standard chemo-immunotherapy (CIT), ibrutinib was associated with a higher incidence of clinically significant bleeding. This has been hypothesized to be linked to the platelet-specific effects of inhibiting Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK). Most bleeding events under ibrutinib are low-grade with a decreasing incidence over time. However, bleeding can have a significant impact on patients and interfere with persistence and compliance of ibrutinib treatment. Currently, no clear consensus exists on the use of ibrutinib in patients with an increased bleeding risk, on the management of ibrutinib-induced bleeding and on the use of ibrutinib around surgery or invasive procedures. In this paper, a panel of Belgian haematology and haemostasis specialists formulated practical advice on bleeding prevention and management in ibrutinib-treated patients.
(BELG J HEMATOL 2020;11(4):174–84)