NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
October 25, 2005 • Volume 2 / Number 41 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Clinical TrialFeatured Clinical Trial

Chemotherapy for Previously Treated CLL

Name of the Trial
Phase II Study of Flavopiridol in Patients with Previously Treated B-Cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) or Prolymphocytic Leukemia Arising from CLL (CLLRC-OSU-0491). See the protocol summary at

Dr. John Byrd Principal Investigator
Dr. John Byrd, The Ohio State University and the CLL Research Consortium

Why Is This Trial Important?
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a slowly progressing cancer in which too many white blood cells (lymphocytes) are found in the blood and bone marrow. The disease primarily affects middle-aged and older adults. Treatment for CLL depends upon the stage of the disease and may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, stem cell transplantation, or some combination of therapies.

In this clinical trial, researchers are testing the ability of a drug called flavopiridol to cause the remission of CLL that arises in a class of lymphocytes called B cells. In previous studies, flavopiridol was shown to stop the growth of CLL cells and cause apoptosis (cell "suicide"). Researchers hope that flavopiridol will help induce disease remission in patients whose CLL has recurred following previous treatment with other chemotherapy drugs.

"Flavopiridol kills CLL cells that are resistant to other therapies and that bear the genetic features that typically predict a poor response to treatment," said Dr. Byrd. "Unlike many new trials for relapsed and refractory CLL, where we are uncertain of the clinical activity, flavopiridol has already demonstrated dramatic and durable responses in some patients."

This trial will also test flavopiridol in patients with prolymphocytic leukemia (PLL), a more rapidly progressing type of CLL in which immature lymphocytes proliferate in the blood and bone marrow.

Who Can Join This Trial?
Researchers seek to enroll 17 to 32 patients aged 18 or over with confirmed B-cell CLL or PLL who have received prior treatment for their disease. See the list of eligibility criteria at

Where Is This Trial Taking Place?
Multiple study sites in the United States are recruiting patients for this trial. See the list of study sites at

Contact Information
See the list of study contacts at or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). The call is toll free and completely confidential.

An archive of "Featured Clinical Trial" columns is available at