Highlights from the SWG

The most relevant and impactful activities in 2018 were:

  • ERIC International Meeting: New Frontiers in CLL Research 
    Barcelona, Spain ( 25-27 October 2018)

Chair: Paolo Ghia
Goals:

  • To know how novel revelations into CLL biology are translating into novel approaches to patient management aligned with the concepts of precision medicine.
  • To have the opportunity to get practical guidance and training into biomarker profiling in CLL by internationally renowned experts in the respective fields.
  • The publication in Leukemia of the Updated ERIC recommendations on TP53 mutation analysis in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (Malcikova et al, Leukemia. 2018 May;32(5):1070-1080).

  • The publication of the results of the retrospective study exploring the efficacy of bendamustine and rituximab as first salvage treatment in CLL in collaboration with the Italian (GIMEMA) and British (UK CLL Forum) collaborative groups (Cuneo A. Et al, Haematologica. 2018 Jul;103(7):1209-1217)

The most relevant advances include:

  • The increasing efforts from patients, doctors and pharma companies to improve awareness and the frequency of patient’s screening for IGHV mutational status and TP53 aberrations before starting therapy.
  • The increasing attention on the potential role of assessing complex karyotype in the diagnostic work-up of CLL patients and on the need to standardize detection methods.

The top 3 follow-up activities that were given priority in 2019 include:

  1. The organisation of the first ERIC International workshop on Minimal Residual Disease analysis in CLL, to be held at La Palma Hotel in Stresa, Italy on 15-16 March 2019. This Meeting is expected to attract a maximum number of 100 participants with an international faculty. Official website: http://www.ericll.org/stresa-2019/

  2. The organisation of the first ERIC International workshop on the Immunoglobulin gene analysis in CLL in the USA, to be held at the NIH in Bethesda, MD, on 28-29 March, 2019. The meeting is expected to attract 100-150 participants from all over the US and Canada, with an international faculty including both EU and US speakers. Official website: http://www.ericll.org/bethesda-2018/

  3. The Certification Rounds for TP53 Mutational Analysis and IG gene sequence analysis (as a general rule, there are two certification rounds per year for each program. For IG sequence analysis, the 4rd round, and for TP53 Mutational Analysis, Round 6 have been completed.