Oncogenic MTOR signaling axis compensates BTK inhibition in a Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia patient with Richter Transformation: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Acta Haematol. 2024 Feb 24. doi: 10.1159/000537791. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: Targeting the B cell receptor (BCR) pathway via ibrutinib, a specific inhibitor of Bruton's tyrosine kinase, has shown marked clinical efficacy in treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), thus becoming a preferred first line option independent of risk factors. However, acquired resistance to ibrutinib poses a major clinical problem and requires the development of novel treatment combinations to increase efficacy and counteract resistance development and clinical relapse rates.

Case presentation: In this study, we performed exome and transcriptome analyses of an ibrutinib resistant CLL patient in order to investigate genes and expression patterns associated with ibrutinib resistance. Here we provide evidence that ibrutinib resistance can be attributed to aberrant mammalian target of rapamycin (MTOR) signaling.

Conclusion: Thus, our study proposes that combined use of MTOR inhibitors with ibrutinib could be a possible option to overcome therapy resistance in ibrutinib treated patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports