Ibrutinib: a new targeted therapy for hematologic cancers.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)


Hematologic cancers can occur from the overactivity of Bruton's tyrosine kinase, a proto-oncogene in blood cell maturation. Ibrutinib, a new oral targeted therapy drug, is the first agent that binds to the Bruton's tyrosine kinases and inhibits overgrowth of B cells. In blocking this overgrowth, ibrutinib has been shown to achieve lengthy remissions for patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Remissions are highly valued in these cancers; cure is rare in MCL, and CLL is incurable.


This article reviews ibrutinib, its risks and benefits, and the role that oncology nurses play in educating patients and promoting drug adherence.


A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted using key words such as ibrutinib, mantle cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and oral chemotherapy.


Ibrutinib has been shown to be well tolerated, with manageable, low-grade toxicities compared to traditional cytotoxic agents. For all patients with a hematologic cancer, but particularly for the large proportion of older adults affected by hematologic malignancies, ibrutinib provides a new treatment option with a low toxicity profile.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Smithson, CR; Schneider, SM

Published Date

  • June 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 3

Start / End Page

  • E47 - E51

PubMed ID

  • 26000590

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-067X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1092-1095

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1188/15.cjon.e47-e51


  • eng