Ibrutinib as a Bruton Kinase Inhibitor in the Management of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: A New Agent With Great Promise

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2016 Feb;16(2):63-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clml.2015.11.011. Epub 2015 Nov 22.


The recent discovery of the role of the B-cell antigen receptor (BCR) signaling pathway in the propagation and maintenance of both normal B-cell function and in B-cell malignancies has highlighted the importance of many protein kinases involved in BCR signal propagation. Considerable research attention has focused on the Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) as a potential therapeutic target in B-cell malignancies. Treatment paradigms including ibrutinib, a potent inhibitor of the BTK recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, have significantly improved disease outcome among high-risk and relapsed/refractory cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This has provided additional treatment options, especially among the elderly, where improved disease response has been accompanied by more manageable treatment-associated toxicity than commonly found with chemoimmunotherapy. In this review, we provide a synopsis of the current data on the efficacy and clinical utilization of ibrutinib and management of its resistance in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Keywords: Antineoplastic agents; Clinical trials; Drug therapy; Protein tyrosine kinase antagonists/inhibitors; Review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agammaglobulinaemia Tyrosine Kinase
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use*
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyrimidines
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • ibrutinib
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Agammaglobulinaemia Tyrosine Kinase
  • BTK protein, human