Dr. Jones on the Efficacy of Venetoclax in Relapsed/Refractory CLL

Jeffrey Jones, MD, MPH
Published Online: Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016



Jeffrey Jones, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, The Ohio State University, discusses the results of a phase II study that evaluated the efficacy of venetoclax (Venclexta) in the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) whose disease had progressed after treatment with either ibrutinib (Imbruvica) or idelalisib (Zydelig).

New medical advances can often create new clinical situations and novel unmet needs, says Jones, and this is exactly what has happened recently in the treatment landscape of CLL. Though they have proven remarkably effective for many patients, the advent of kinase inhibitors in this space has caused several patients to relapse due to intolerance.

Venetoclax, an oral novel BCL-2 inhibitor, was recently approved for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory CLL after at least 1 prior therapy. Jones says this drug's unique mechanism of action makes it particularly interesting to study in the context of treatment failure after receiving drugs such as ibrutinib or idelalisib.

Jones goes on to describe a recent phase II study of single-agent venetoclax in 2 parallel cohorts of patients with CLL. One cohort of patients had progressed after being treated with idelalisib, and the other cohort had failed treatment with idelalisib.

Overall, he says, venetoclax was highly effective in both cohorts. The overall response rate was 70% in the ibrutinib arm and 62% in the idelalisib arm. These results compare quite favorably with prior research on single-agent venetoclax in relapsed/refractory CLL.


Jeffrey Jones, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, The Ohio State University, discusses the results of a phase II study that evaluated the efficacy of venetoclax (Venclexta) in the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) whose disease had progressed after treatment with either ibrutinib (Imbruvica) or idelalisib (Zydelig).

New medical advances can often create new clinical situations and novel unmet needs, says Jones, and this is exactly what has happened recently in the treatment landscape of CLL. Though they have proven remarkably effective for many patients, the advent of kinase inhibitors in this space has caused several patients to relapse due to intolerance.

Venetoclax, an oral novel BCL-2 inhibitor, was recently approved for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory CLL after at least 1 prior therapy. Jones says this drug's unique mechanism of action makes it particularly interesting to study in the context of treatment failure after receiving drugs such as ibrutinib or idelalisib.

Jones goes on to describe a recent phase II study of single-agent venetoclax in 2 parallel cohorts of patients with CLL. One cohort of patients had progressed after being treated with idelalisib, and the other cohort had failed treatment with idelalisib.

Overall, he says, venetoclax was highly effective in both cohorts. The overall response rate was 70% in the ibrutinib arm and 62% in the idelalisib arm. These results compare quite favorably with prior research on single-agent venetoclax in relapsed/refractory CLL.



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