Skip to Navigation Skip to Search Skip to Content
Search All Centers

Can Treating Your Immunoglobulin Ward Off Other Infections?

Read Transcript Download/Print Transcript
View next

Published on August 23, 2018

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) compromises the body’s ability to fight off other infections and may require patients to take precautions to prevent catching anything that’s going around. Can treating the immunoglobulin (IgG) help reduce the chance of patients getting a sinus, respiratory or other recurrent infection? CLL expert Dr. Alessandra Ferrajoli, from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, explains the potential risks and benefits of boosting IGG levels, and the protocol for administering the preventative treatment.

Provided by CLL Global Research Foundation, which received support from AbbVie Inc., Gilead Sciences, Inc., Pharmacyclics LLC and TG Therapeutics. It is produced by Patient Power in collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Featuring

Partners

CLL Global Research Foundation The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Sponsors

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Transcript | Can Treating Your Immunoglobulin Ward Off Other Infections?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Jeff Folloder:

I’ve got an interesting question that we just got, it’s in regard to immunoglobulin. There’s an acceptable range, of generally, what, 700 to 1600, depending upon age. This gentleman tested a little bit under that range and had several bouts of pneumonia. And, he wants to know, would treating his low IgG level help his immune system, and maybe ward off dealing with pneumonia? 

Dr. Lamanna:              

Alessandra, you wanna take that one?

Dr. Ferrajoli:               

Sure. So, there are certain patients, especially the ones that experience recurrent infection of the respiratory tract, of the sinuses, that if they’re given immunoglobulin, especially during the winter months, will report that there is a beneficial effect. We tend not to start them automatically, we wait to make sure we identify the patients that need them, based on their immunoglobulin levels, and/or the frequency of the infections. Receiving immunoglobulin is receiving a type of blood product, so obviously, there is some minimal risk associated with it, and it’s also time consuming. It takes about four hours to receive the infusion of the immunoglobulin, and we normally give them once a month, and it can be expensive. Sometimes, there are certain situations where they are indicated, certain severe viral infections

Like RSV, for example, when the patients are admitted to the hospital, there is RSV, together with our infectious diseases department, we’ll automatically escalate up, and administer immunoglobulins. So, they are one of the many tools that we have.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

View next