Gary J. Schiller, MD, discusses the benefits and challenges of using venetoclax and glasdegib in patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia.
Gary J. Schiller, MD, director, Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplantation and professor of hematology/oncology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, discusses the benefits and challenges of using venetoclax (Venclexta) and glasdegib (Daurismo) in patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Venetoclax in combination with a hypomethylating agent and glasdegib in combination with low-dose cytarabine work by activating stem cells that would otherwise not proliferate, says Schiller. Moreover, the agents have a high likelihood of inducing a morphologic leukemia-free state in patients which leads to a significant rate of complete remission.
However, both venetoclax and glasdegib are myelosuppressive and can cause severe cytopenias, making them difficult to use in the clinic, says Schiller. Both agents can be administered as out-patient options, but supportive care is often required to minimize adverse events, says Schiller.
Despite these toxicities, Schiller concludes these agents offer effective treatment strategies for older patients who are unable to tolerate cytotoxic chemotherapy.