Ibrutinib for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) may be associated with a lower rate of treatment-related secondary autoimmune cytopenia (AIC), according to a study published in Leukemia.1

Kerry Rogers, MD, of The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, looked at medical records of 301 patients with CLL who were treated with ibrutinib from July 2010 and July 2014 in order to determine the effect of this therapy on the rate of AIC incidence.

Patients were reviewed for past as well as treatment-emergent cases of AIC. Prior to ibrutinib treatment, they found that 26% of patients had experienced AIC.

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With a total of 468 patient-years of ibrutinib exposure, the researchers found 6 cases of treatment-emergent AIC, which corresponded with an estimated incidence rate of 13 episodes for every 1,000 patient-years of ibrutinib treatment.

In addition, 22 patients were found to be concurrently receiving therapy for AIC at the start of ibrutinib therapy, 19 of whom were successfully treated and were able to discontinue AIC therapy.


  1. Rogers KA, Ruppert AS, Bingman A, et al. Incidence and description of autoimmune cytopenias during treatment with ibrutinib for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. [published online ahead of print October 7, 2015]. Leukemia. doi: 10.1038/leu.2015.273.