Turkish hematologists and oncologists largely adhere to international guidelines for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) management, but regional variations and gaps in the adoption of certain diagnostic and treatment modalities were observed, according to a recent study.
The results of the survey conducted by the Turkish Hematology Network Group (THNG) conducted a survey were presented by Birol Güvenç, MD, and colleagues at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Society of Hematologic Oncology in Houston, Texas.
Thirty-four questions comprised the THNG survey, which was completed by 79 hematologists. The questions of the survey “aimed to evaluate current practices in Turkey, explore potential regional differences, and assess adherence to international guidelines,” and addressed the diagnosis, treatment, and management of patients with CLL.
Most of survey respondents (87.3%) were guided by the International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia guidelines for CLL management. For cytogenetic testing, 93.4% reported using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).
As the primary choice for initial therapy, fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) held the lead (69.7%), followed by bendamustine and rituximab (BR), chosen by 16.7%. In instances of relapsed or resistant CLL, venetoclax-centered protocols took precedence (62.3%). Nearly half (42.1%) of respondents conducted testing for measurable residual disease (MRD), with university-affiliated doctors exhibiting a higher inclination.
Noteworthy regional disparities were noticed in treatment strategies, with FCR being more typical in the Marmara region, and BR gaining prominence in the Central Anatolia region. In cases involving TP53 abnormalities, the favored therapeutic option was ibrutinib (75.95%). The International Prognostic Index for CLL found utilization among 44.3% of respondents in their clinical undertakings.
“Further studies are warranted to evaluate the impact of these variations on patient outcomes,” the investigators wrote in conclusion.
Güvenç B, Özcan MA, Sönmez M, et al. A survey of chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment approaches in Turkey: a Turkish Hematology Network Group Study. Abstract CLL-241. Presented at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Society of Hematologic Oncology; September 6-9, 2023; Houston, Texas.