Dr. Seymour on Updated Findings From the MURANO Trial in CLL

John F. Seymour, MBBS, PhD

John F. Seymour, MBBS, PhD, clinical hematologist, associate director of Clinical Research, Peter MacCallum Centre, director of the integrated Haematology Department of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, discusses the updated findings from the MURANO trial presented at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting.

Previous findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine established the superiority of the combination of venetoclax (Venclexta) and rituximab (Rituxan) as treatment for patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Data favored the venetoclax combination compared with bendamustine plus rituximab in terms of progression-free survival (PFS), and patients treated with venetoclax showed higher rates of undetectable minimal residual disease (MRD). This updated analysis focused on patients on the venetoclax/rituximab arm after drug cessation, says Seymour.

At a nearly 12-month median follow-up, all patients—regardless of MRD status—who stopped venetoclax at the 2-year mark had an 87% likelihood of PFS. As a general treatment strategy, time-limited therapy with drug cessation is feasible and safe, says Seymour. Although progression was seen in some patients with high MRD positivity, upon further investigation, data showed that they were progressing on venetoclax prior to cessation, Seymour explains.
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