What is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma?1
- Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer. The main forms of lymphoma are classified as Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) or non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), which includes several B-cell lymphomas and T-cell lymphomas
- Lymphoma occurs when cells of the immune system called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, uncontrollably grow and multiply
- The body has two main types of lymphocytes that can develop into lymphomas: B lymphocytes (B cells) and T lymphocytes (T cells)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) are forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that arise from B lymphocytes
- When most of the cancer cells are located in the bloodstream and the bone marrow, the disease is referred to as CLL, although the lymph nodes and spleen are often involved
- When the cancer cells are located mostly in the lymph nodes and are rare in the blood, the disease is called SLL
What is relapsed or refractory CLL/SLL?2
- When CLL/SLL returns after medical care and treatment, this is called a relapse.
- When cancerous cells are resistant, do not respond to a treatment, or return within six months of treatment, they are called refractory.
What you can do for your health.
Living with CLL or SLL can be unpredictable. How you feel may change from day to day. You’re also an individual, so your body will react differently—both to the disease and the treatments your doctor prescribes. However, there are some steps you can take to try to stay healthy. Use these tips as a starting point for discussion with your healthcare team.
Follow Healthy Nutritional GuidelinesEating healthy is important. To ensure the food you’re eating is helpful to your body:
- Talk to your doctor about foods to eat, foods to avoid, portions, and frequency of meals
- Be cautious with raw or uncooked foods
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid strong or overpowering smells that may trigger nausea
- Talk to your doctor if you experience nausea
Try to Avoid Infections and FeverLow white blood cell counts can increase your risk of infection and fever. To reduce your risk:
- Remind people around you to wash their hands frequently
- Take precautions to minimize your exposure to bacteria and viruses
Rest When NeededGetting rest is very important to your overall health. To make sure you’re getting enough rest:
- Talk with your doctor if you are experiencing tiredness or fatigue and ask how to improve your sleep quality, if needed
- Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol right before you go to sleep; do something that will relax you instead
- Try to have a consistent bedtime and avoid long naps during the day
- Talk to your doctor about how to add appropriate exercise into your routine. Physical activity may decrease feelings of fatigue and encourage healthy sleep patterns
Always remember to talk with your doctor about how you are feeling during treatment. It is important that they know how your treatment is affecting you so that adjustments can be made if needed.
What is the most important information about COPIKTRA?
COPIKTRA can cause serious side effects, including:
- Infections. Infections are common during COPIKTRA treatment and can be serious and can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a fever, chills, or other signs of an infection during treatment with COPIKTRA.
- Diarrhea or inflammation of your intestine. Diarrhea or inflammation of your intestine (colitis) is common during COPIKTRA treatment and can be serious and can lead to death. Your healthcare provider may prescribe an antidiarrhea medicine for your diarrhea. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new or worsening diarrhea, stool with mucus or blood, or if you have severe stomach-area (abdominal) pain. Your healthcare provider should prescribe medicine to help your diarrhea and check you at least weekly. If your diarrhea is severe or anti-diarrhea medicines did not work, you may need treatment with a steroid medicine.
- Skin reactions. Rashes are common with COPIKTRA treatment. COPIKTRA can cause rashes and other skin reactions that can be serious and can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get a new or worsening skin rash, or other skin reactions during treatment with COPIKTRA, including:
- painful sores or ulcers on your skin, lips, or in your mouth
- severe rash with blisters or peeling skin
- rash with itching
- rash with fever
- Inflammation of the lungs. COPIKTRA can cause inflammation of your lungs which can be serious and can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get new or worsening cough or difficulty breathing. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your lungs if you have breathing problems during treatment with COPIKTRA. Your healthcare provider may treat you with a steroid medicine if you develop inflammation of the lungs that is not due to an infection.
If you have any of the above serious side effects during treatment with COPIKTRA, your healthcare provider may stop your treatment for a period of time, change your dose of COPIKTRA, or completely stop your treatment with COPIKTRA.
COPIKTRA may cause other serious side effects, including:
Elevated liver enzymes. COPIKTRA may cause abnormalities in liver blood tests. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests during your treatment with COPIKTRA to check for liver problems. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get any symptoms of liver problems, including yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes (jaundice), pain in the abdominal region, bruising or bleeding more easily than normal.
Low white blood cell count (neutropenia). Neutropenia is common with COPIKTRA treatment and can sometimes be serious. Your healthcare provider should check your blood counts regularly during treatment with COPIKTRA. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a fever or any signs of infection during treatment with COPIKTRA.
Common side effects of COPIKTRA include:
- upper respiratory infection
- bone and muscle pain
- low red blood cell count
These are not all the possible side effects of COPIKTRA. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 and to Verastem Oncology at 1-877-7RX-VSTM (1-877-779-8786).
Before taking COPIKTRA, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:
- have intestinal problems
- have lung or breathing problems
- have an infection
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. COPIKTRA can harm your unborn baby.
- Your healthcare provider should do a pregnancy test to see if you are pregnant before you start treatment with COPIKTRA.
- Females who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control (contraception) during treatment with COPIKTRA and for at least 1 month after the last dose of COPIKTRA. Talk to your healthcare provider about birth control methods that may be right for you. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant or think you are pregnant during treatment with COPIKTRA.
- Males with female partners who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control (contraception) during treatment with COPIKTRA and for at least 1 month after the last dose of COPIKTRA.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if COPIKTRA passes into breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment and for at least 1 month after the last dose of COPIKTRA.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. COPIKTRA and certain other medicines may affect each other.