Follow-Up Shows Venetoclax Plus Rituximab has Long-Term Efficacy in CLL

Apr 28, 2020

Alexey V. Danilov, MD, PhD, discusses a treatment regimen of venetoclax plus rituximab used for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia the 2019 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting.

Alexey V. Danilov, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University, discusses a treatment regimen of venetoclax (Venclexta) plus rituximab (Rituxan) used for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) the 2019 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting.

A long-term follow-up for the phase III MURANO study was presented by John Seymour, MBBS, from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Australia. This study randomized patients with relapsed or refractory CLL to the combination of venetoclax plus rituximab or bendamustine (Bendeka) plus rituximab (NCT02005471).

Danilov says that it was already known that the study was associated with improved progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival, as well as a high minimal residual disease rate in the novel therapy arm. In this follow-up, patients had been off of venetoclax and rituximab for 2 years and still showed advantage with the venetoclax regimen. In particular, the PFS rate was about 60% at the time of follow-up whereas almost all of the patients who received bendamustine progressed by this time. There were no new toxicities for these patients.

According to Danilov, patients who received the combination of venetoclax and rituximab responded to subsequent therapy with Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors upon progression. However, longer follow-up is necessary to understand the duration of response in these patients.

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