In a nutshell
This study evaluated the effectiveness and safety of venetoclax (Venclexta) monotherapy (single-agent treatment) in patients with relapsed (cancer recurrence) or refractory (does not respond to initial treatment) mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). This study concluded that venetoclax monotherapy is promising, with minimal side effects.
After initial treatment, many patients with MCL eventually experience a relapse. Patients with relapsed or refractory disease tend to have poor outcomes. Little data is available about patients who have disease progression (tumor grows or spreads) after initial therapy.
Venetoclax is a targeted therapy. This type of treatment blocks cancer cell survival without affecting healthy cells. This leads to cancer cell death. Whether monotherapy with venetoclax is effective in patients with relapsed or refractory MCL remains under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study included the records of 20 patients with relapsed or refractory MCL. Patients received an average of 3 prior lines of therapy, including ibrutinib (Imbruvica). All patients received venetoclax monotherapy.
Overall, 53% of patients responded to treatment. 18% of patients achieved a complete response (disappearance of all signs of cancer).
The average progression-free survival (time from treatment until disease progression; PFS) was 3.2 months. Patients who responded to treatment had a significantly higher PFS than non-responders (10.7 months vs. 1.1 months). The average overall survival (time from treatment until death from any cause) was 9.4 months.
Overall, 85% of patients reported side effects. Most side effects were mild. These included fatigue (10%), low white blood cell count (10%), and diarrhea (15%). 20% of patients experienced severe to life-threatening side effects. These included pneumonia (15%) and severe infection (5%).
25% of patients stopped treatment due to side effects. Another 25% of patients required a dose reduction due to side effects.
The bottom line
This study concluded that venetoclax monotherapy is a promising treatment approach for relapsed or refractory MCL, with minimal side effects.
The fine print
This study was retrospective, meaning it looked back in time to analyze data. The patient population in this study was also quite small. Larger studies are needed to establish the role of venetoclax monotherapy in the treatment of relapsed or refractory MCL.
Published By :
Sep 06, 2018
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