Dr. O'Brien Discusses Combination Venetoclax in CLL

Susan M. O'Brien
Published: Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018



Susan M. O’Brien, MD, hematologist/oncologist at University of California, Irvine Health, discusses combination venetoclax (Venclexta) in the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

In June 2018, the FDA granted a full approval of venetoclax for the treatment of patients with CLL regardless of 17p deletion, and following at least 1 prior therapy. The BCL-2 inhibitor is now also approved for use in combination with rituximab (Rituxan) in the same patient population.

The approval of the combination was based off the phase III MURANO trial, which showed that median follow-up was not reached with venetoclax plus rituximab compared with 18.1 months (95% CI, 15.8-22.3) with bendamustine plus rituximab (HR, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.13-0.28; <.0001). Overall response rate for venetoclax plus rituximab was 92% compared with 72% for bendamustine plus rituximab.

O’Brien says that now clinicians have the option of treating their patients with single-agent venetoclax, or the combination of venetoclax plus rituximab for 2 years.


Susan M. O’Brien, MD, hematologist/oncologist at University of California, Irvine Health, discusses combination venetoclax (Venclexta) in the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

In June 2018, the FDA granted a full approval of venetoclax for the treatment of patients with CLL regardless of 17p deletion, and following at least 1 prior therapy. The BCL-2 inhibitor is now also approved for use in combination with rituximab (Rituxan) in the same patient population.

The approval of the combination was based off the phase III MURANO trial, which showed that median follow-up was not reached with venetoclax plus rituximab compared with 18.1 months (95% CI, 15.8-22.3) with bendamustine plus rituximab (HR, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.13-0.28; <.0001). Overall response rate for venetoclax plus rituximab was 92% compared with 72% for bendamustine plus rituximab.

O’Brien says that now clinicians have the option of treating their patients with single-agent venetoclax, or the combination of venetoclax plus rituximab for 2 years.

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