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Posted by on Jul 25, 2021 in Leukemia | 0 comments

In a nutshell

The study aimed to investigate the health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who were treated with venetoclax (VEN; Venclexta) and obinutuzumab (Obi; Gazyva). 

This study concluded that this treatment is effective and does not impair the quality of life in these patients.  

Some background

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)-related symptoms impair the well-being of patients. Improvement of health-related quality of life (QoL) should be a goal of treatment. Health-related QoL (HR-QoL) is a concept that includes physical, mental, emotional, and social functioning. It focuses on the impact that health status has on a QoL.  

Immunotherapy combinations such as Ven-Obi or chlorambucil (Chl; Leukeran) and Obi have become standard therapies for patients with CLL. Obi is an immunotherapy. It can be combined with chemotherapy drugs such as Chl or targeted therapy such Ven. Chemotherapy drugs commonly cause more side effects that are particularly difficult to tolerate by older patients. A previous study has shown that Ven-Obi combination over a fixed duration of time has good effectiveness in older patients with CLL. However, it is not known if this combination would also improve the HR-QoL of patients.  

Methods & findings

This study involved 432 patients with previously untreated CLL. Half of the patients were treated with Ven-Obi and the other half with Chl-Obi. The average age of patients was 72 years and more than half had decreased kidney function. HR-QoL was evaluated through standardized questionnaires. 

At treatment start, physical functioning, role functioning, and QoL were similar between groups. The levels of physical and role functioning were maintained throughout treatment and follow-up in both groups. Patients were followed up every 3 months up to 18 months and then at 6 months up to 30 months.

On average, patients treated with Ven-Obi showed a meaningful improvement of QoL during treatment and follow-up at cycle 3. In the Chl-Obi group, improvements in QoL were seen after cycle 8. The number of patients who had improvements in QoL was slightly higher in the Ven-Obi group compared to the Ghl-Obi group at all time points. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that Ven-Obi has higher effectiveness than Chl-Obi in patients with previously untreated CLL, without compromising QoL.

The fine print

This study was funded by F Hoffmann-La Roche and AbbVie, that manufacturers of Ven.

Published By :

American Journal of Hematology

Date :

May 29, 2021

Original Title :

Health-related quality of life with fixed-duration venetoclax-obinutuzumab for previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia: Results from the randomized, phase 3 CLL14 trial.

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