Blood cancers

New treatment option for people with CLL/SLL and FL


The oral phosphatidylinosital 3-kinase inhibitor idelalisib (Zydelig) is now available on the PBS for eligible patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia or small lymphocytic leukaemia and relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma.

Without the subsidy the drug would cost $60,500 a year for follicular lymphoma patients and $115,800 a year for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia or small lymphocytic leukaemia patients.

“People living with FL or CLL/SLL have previously had very few treatment options available to them if they had failed to respond to, or were unsuitable for chemotherapy,” said Dr Chan Cheah, Consultant Haematologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Hollywood Private Hospital and the University of Western Australia.

“Zydelig is a targeted treatment option that has demonstrated clinically meaningful increases in progression-free and overall survival for these patients,” he said.

Idelalisib (Zydelig) is indicated as monotherapy for the treatment of FL which is refractory to prior therapy with both rituximab and an alkylating agent and where idelalisib (Zydelig) is the only PBS-subsidised medicine used for this condition.

It is also indicated in combination with rituximab for the treatment of adults with CLL/SLL which has either relapsed or is refractory to at least one prior therapy. The condition must also be CD20 positive, and the patient must be inappropriate for chemo-immunotherapy, and must have a total cumulative illness rating scale (CIRS) score of greater than 6 (excluding CLL-induced illness or organ damage).

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