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Posted by on Feb 28, 2021 in Leukemia | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study aimed to investigate the impact of venetoclax (Venclexta) modification or early treatment ending on the outcomes of patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). 

This study concluded that venetoclax treatment modification did not impact outcomes but the early ending of treatment reduced the survival of these patients.  

Some background

Venetoclax is a type of targeted therapy used for the treatment of CLL. Studies have shown that venetoclax given for 2 years in combination with immune treatment rituximab (Rituxan) improves the outcomes of patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) CLL. However, some patients develop side effects that make them reduce the dose of venetoclax or temporarily or permanently stop treatment. 

It was unknown if modifying venetoclax dose or early treatment ending would impact outcomes for patients with R/R CLL.  

Methods & findings

This study involved 194 patients with R/R CLL who were treated with venetoclax and rituximab. 72% of patients completed 2 years of therapy. 

28% of patients ended treatment earlier than 2 years. These patients had a 5.98 times higher risk of disease progression compared to those who had 2 years of treatment. 

137 patients temporarily stopped treatment due to side effects or other reasons once or multiple times. The average duration of treatment interruptions was 9 days. Temporarily stopping treatment, had no significant effect on the outcomes of patients compared to those who did not stop treatment at all. This was true for any duration of treatment interruption. 

45 of all patients needed to reduce the dose of venetoclax during treatment. 57.8% of these patients returned to the original dose after an average of 16.5 days. Dose reductions had no significant influence on the outcomes of patients compared to those who took the entire dose. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that venetoclax modification did not impact outcomes but early treatment ending reduced the survival of patients with R/R CLL.

The fine print

This study had a small number of participants and used medical records to collect data. This might have influenced the results. This study was funded by Roche, the manufacturer of venetoclax.

Published By :


Date :

Dec 17, 2020

Original Title :

The impact of early discontinuation/dose modification of venetoclax on outcomes in patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia: post-hoc analyses from the phase III MURANO study.

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