Dr. Kahl on the Impact of Venetoclax in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Brad Kahl, MD
Published: Thursday, Oct 25, 2018



Brad Kahl, MD, professor in the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Siteman Cancer Center, discusses the impact of venetoclax (Venclexta) in the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Venetoclax is a small molecule BCL-2 inhibitor that shows potent activity in CLL, comparable to that of ibrutinib (Imbruvica), says Kahl. A trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine this past year looked at the combination of venetoclax combined with rituximab (Rituximab) versus bendamustine/rituximab (BR) in relapsed CLL.

Venetoclax was given for a fixed duration of 2 years. Historically, all of the novel agents are given indefinitely, notes Kahl. That can become a problem from a financial and tolerability standpoint, he adds. In the trial, rituximab was given for 6 months and then venetoclax was added for 2 years. Bendamustine was dosed was 70 mg/m2. The results showed the superiority of the novel combination over the BR regimen. Approximately 84% of patients remained progression free at 2 years. Results were equally distributed among patients with or without mutations and in those with or without 17p deletion.


Brad Kahl, MD, professor in the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Siteman Cancer Center, discusses the impact of venetoclax (Venclexta) in the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Venetoclax is a small molecule BCL-2 inhibitor that shows potent activity in CLL, comparable to that of ibrutinib (Imbruvica), says Kahl. A trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine this past year looked at the combination of venetoclax combined with rituximab (Rituximab) versus bendamustine/rituximab (BR) in relapsed CLL.

Venetoclax was given for a fixed duration of 2 years. Historically, all of the novel agents are given indefinitely, notes Kahl. That can become a problem from a financial and tolerability standpoint, he adds. In the trial, rituximab was given for 6 months and then venetoclax was added for 2 years. Bendamustine was dosed was 70 mg/m2. The results showed the superiority of the novel combination over the BR regimen. Approximately 84% of patients remained progression free at 2 years. Results were equally distributed among patients with or without mutations and in those with or without 17p deletion.



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