Access to COVID-19 Treatments for Persons Living with CLL

January 16, 2024 update

People with CLL are at greater risk of severe consequences of COVID-19 and less protected by vaccination because CLL reduces the effectiveness of their immune system. This document outlines the treatments that are available for COVID-19 to people with CLL and how to get access to them in each province.

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Results of the CLL Canada Members’ Needs and Interests Survey

In the fall of 2020 CLL Canada surveyed its members in order to better understand their needs and interests. Here are the results of the survey.

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Will COVID vaccines work for CLL patients?

Situation as of December 5, 2020

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CLL Canada Advocacy for the Funding of Venetoclax and Acalabrutinib Treatments for CLL

In April 2020, CLL Canada made submissions to the agencies responsible for making recommendations to provincial governments regarding the funding of medical treatments. CADTH is the agency for all Canadian provinces except Quebec, which has its own agency INESSS.

CLL Canada, in collaboration with Lymphoma Canada, submitted patient input to the review of two CLL treatments: (1) Venetoclax and obinutuzumab (Gazyva) for first-line treatment of CLL/SLL and (2) Acalabrutinib (Calquence) for first-line and relapsed treatment of CLL/SLL. We surveyed CLL patients in Canada and around the world that had experienced these treatments and used this data to demonstrate that these treatments had few side effects and permitted patients to regain a good quality of life, in addition to their beneficial health effects. These briefs were also submitted to INESSS in Quebec.

CLL Canada Comments on CADTH Drug Evaluation Process

CLL Canada commented on changes being proposed by CADTH to the process by which recommendations are made to provincial governments regarding the funding of drugs. While we supported many of the proposed changes, we stressed the importance of leaving sufficient time for patient groups to gather the view of patients, the importance of considering patient’s experience on the sequencing of treatments and the significance of reduced side effects as a justification for a positive funding recommendation

Review Article on the Treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

This comprehensive overview of the treatment of CLL was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 30, 2020. The article is free, but registration is required.

Updates from the American Society of Hematology 2019 annual meeting: practice-changing studies in treatment-naïve chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Canadian evidence-based guidelines for first-line treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia have been published in Current Oncology.

Find the PDF here

International Workshop on CLL (iWCLL) has published new guidelines.

This is an important document for all CLL patients. You can access it here: 2018 CLL Guidelines.

Quality of Life Survey Shows the Challenges of Patients and Caregivers

In 2017, CLL Canada and Lymphoma Canada surveyed 320 CLL patients and caregivers about how CLL affects their quality of life. CLLPAG has published a infographic of the findings. Among the findings: 36% of patients have waves of fatigue and 80% of caregivers experience anxiety and worry. Click here to see the infographic.

Annual Canadian CLL Research Meeting

January 2019

Each year, Canadian and International Scientists and clinicians get together in Winnipeg, Manitoba to discuss the latest CLL/SLL research as it applies in Canada. CLL Canada has been invited to send a Board member to this meeting since 2009 to report on our activities and report back to members. Board member Kathy Green attended the 2018 meeting and her report is at the following link: 14th Canadian CLL Research Meeting Report

Ontario Auditor General: Cancer Patients in Ontario Face Delays and Safety Issues Related to Take-Home Cancer Treatments

December 2017

In its Annual Report released today, the Auditor General of Ontario found cancer patients who need take-home cancer treatments are facing administrative delays in starting treatments and safety issues.

Specifically, the Value-for-Money Audit of Cancer Treatment Services found patients are getting inadequate support for the proper and safe use of take-home drugs. When patients don’t have sufficient safety information and there is a lack of pharmacist experience dispensing cancer drugs, it can lead to dispensing errors, a lack of toxicity management or safe handling, inaccurate advice and insufficient information or follow-up regarding side-effects.

For more information:

Auditor General Report Finds Cancer Patients in Ontario Face Delays and Safety Issues

  • E-Bulletin 30 – Pausing Ibrutinib? CLL Survival Rates, COVID Resource, I+V Treatment, Patient Input Opportunities, Journey to Recovery, Part 2
  • E-Bulletin 29 – Journey to recovery, CLL survey, Zanubrutinib coming, can ChatGPT be trusted?, Paxlovid rebound, COVID update.
  • E-Bulletin 28 – Advocating for the immune compromised, clinical trials, insect bites, webinar reviews, review of How Doctor’s Think
  • E-Bulletin 27 – The Way Ahead as COVID Lingers On, COVID-19 Booster Recommended, Treatment Information and Guidance, ASH Highlights, Turning a CLL Diagnosis into Music.
  • E-Bulletin 26 – Treatment issue : Ten-Year Retrospective, Choosing Between BTKi and BCL2i, Combinations, BCL2i Retreatment, CLL Canada News, PMPRB Regulations (again!)
  • E-Bulletin 25 – COVID vaccination & treatments; Masks; CAR-T therapy; Immune deficiency; Inspire Health; Striking the balance; CLL Canada News; A CLL journey
  • E-Bulletin 24 – Monoclonal antibody therapy and vaccines for COVID; Immunoglobulins and CLL progression; Treatment news; The BTK inhibitor story; A CLL journey.
  • E-Bulletin 23 – On the end of COVID restrictions: the CLL patient’s dilemma. The risks of COVID and the effectiveness of vaccines in CLL patients. Things to think about when deciding whether to resume activities enjoyed before the pandemic.
  • E-Bulletin 22 – Survey of members; Progress in reducing the delay to a second dose; Still no clarity on the efficacy of COVID vaccines in CLL patients; Canadian CLL Clinical Trials; Treatment news; Is there CLL research in Canada? A CLL journey
  • E-Bulletin 21 – CLL Review Article, COVID Vaccination, Acalabrutinib and Venetoclax (first line), Long Term Use of Ibrutinib, Delay in PMPRB Regulation