Belumosudil Shows Sustained Efficacy and Safety for Chronic GVHD

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Stephanie Lee, MD, discusses a study investigating belumosudil for chronic graft-vs-host disease.

A study presented by Stephanie Lee, MD, at the 2024 Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Tandem Meetings reports the 3-year follow-up results of belumosudil (Rezurock), a medication for chronic graft-vs-host disease (cGVHD) following stem cell transplants.

Previously, belumosudil showed promising results in a clinical trial, with high response rates and good tolerability. This follow-up confirms those findings over a longer period.

The overall response rates remained high at 3 years, similar to the initial 14-month report. The proportion of patients who remained free of cGVHD progression was 44.1% at 3 years, indicating good disease control. No new safety concerns were identified, and discontinuation rates due to side effects decreased over time. Some patients (8%-23%) were able to stay on belumosudil for 3 years or longer, and a quarter successfully stopped all immunosuppressants.

Overall, this study suggests belumosudil provides sustained efficacy and safety for managing cGVHD in patients who have received multiple prior treatments.

Here, Lee, professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Institute and University of Washington, discusses the study's goals, findings, and implications.

Transcription:

0:05 | The rationale for the study was that when we first reported the results from this study, we only had 14 months of follow-up, so this is the extended follow up with 3years of follow-up. And it's very important to know if the original results that we found were going to persist.

I think until we can completely prevent it or treat it for everybody, we haven't really completely succeeded. We have had a lot of progress in the last year with this drug belumosudil, which is part of this report, being approved, as well as other drugs. A lot of exciting stuff has happened. But there are still patients who need therapies, and we need those therapies to be more effective and less toxic.

0:42 | What we really wanted to know was how did people do with extended therapy? Were they able to, you know, have good control of their disease? Was it tolerable? And so it's really to address those issues that we did this report.

The short answer is that the efficacy looked like it was very solid and prolonged, and the toxicity was low as it was before and also did not increase with time. So I think the results overall were very promising.

So a community oncologists don't have a lot of patients and so they're not very familiar with these drugs, and so I'm definitely sympathetic to all of the new drugs that have come out. But I think the takeaway from this is that patients can stay on this drug for quite a long time that toxicities don't seem like they increase and that it does seem like it continues to be effective and that patients will their responses.

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