Oral oncolytic treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia

J Oncol Pharm Pract. 2022 Jun;28(4):935-944. doi: 10.1177/10781552211073906. Epub 2022 Jan 27.


Objective: The objective of this article is to review the current supporting literature for the use of oral oncolytics in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, consideration for their use and management of adverse drug events that may limit use.

Data sources: NCCN guidelines were utilized to determine available oral options for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. A literature review was carried out through PubMed to find relevant clinical trials that evaluated the efficacy and safety of Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors, BCL-2 inhibitors and PI3K-δ inhibitors. Medication package inserts and primary literature regarding toxicity were used to determine appropriate adverse drug event management.

Data summary: A total of 7 clinical trials were found for the evaluation the efficacy and safety of burton tyrosine kinase inhibitor, 1 clinical trial for the BCL-1 inhibitor venetoclax and 4 trials were for PI3K-δ inhibitors. The data from these studies suggest that ibrutinib can be used first line in previously untreated patients and relapsed/refractory patients as well as acalabrutinib. The data also support the use of venetoclax, idelalisib, and duvelisib in relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients.

Conclusions: The use of oral-only oncolytics could be a viable option for reducing the risk of infection due to limiting exposure to healthcare settings. Current literature suggests oral oncolytics may be an option, but there are several considerations to evaluate including medication adherence, drug-drug interactions, adverse events, and financial toxicity.

Keywords: CLL; Chronic lymphocytic leukemia; adverse drug event; adverse drug event management; oral oncolytics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell* / drug therapy
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / therapeutic use
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors