The Belgian Hematological Society Lymphoproliferative Working Party updated the 2012 recommendations on the best strategies for front-line and subsequent-line treatment of small lymphocytic leukaemia/chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. No treatment is necessary for patients without active and/or advanced disease, regardless of prognostic factors. When front-line treatment is indicated we recommend adding an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody to chemotherapy except in frail patients: fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, rituximab for fit patients; bendamustine, rituximab for fit patients >65 years or unfit for fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, rituximab; and chlorambucil with obinutuzumab or rituximab for older patients with a geriatric profile, major comorbidities or a reduced performance status. The choice of treatment for patients with recurrent disease depends on the duration of response to the previous treatment, the type of treatment refractoriness and the presence of a 17p deletion/p53 mutation. As an alternative, chemoimmunotherapy can be proposed for patients with a late relapse. The novel B-cell receptor inhibitors are the best choice for those relapsing early, who have refractory disease or are unfit for chemoimmunotherapy. The B-cell receptor inhibitors are also first choice for each patient with a de novo or acquired 17p deletion/p53 mutation. Reduced intensity conditioning allogeneic stem cell transplantation should still be considered for patients with high-risk disease after response induction by the B-cell receptor inhibitors. We still have to encourage patients to enter clinical trials exploring new drug combinations.
(BELG J HEMATOL 2015;6(5): 195–202)