Published on May 30, 2018
After demonstrating the combination of novel agents to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in clinical trials, experts are sharing the promising results and the strategy’s influence on the CLL treatment landscape. On location at CLL Live in Niagara Falls, Canada, CLL expert Dr. Thomas Kipps from the University of California San Diego Medical Centerdiscusses recent data on combination therapy regimens, like venetoclax (Venclexta) and rituximab (Rituxan), and their impact on patients. Dr. Kipps explains how this approach compares to standard chemotherapy and its’ efficacy on remission rate, sustainability and progression. Tune in to find out more as CLL treatment research propels forward.
You might also like
Transcript | Real-World Response to CLL Combination Therapies
Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.
You've been working on a lot of different combinations as well, and so one where there's data that's recently come out using a novel therapy, venetoclax (Venclexta) with rituximab (Rituxan) together, and my understanding is that it seems like it has some benefit.
Yeah, it certainly does. And it seems like we're getting higher rates of complete remissions and complete remissions also with the inability to detect minimal residual disease, which means that we can take sensitive means to try and look for leukemia cells in the blood or the marrow. The marrow is perhaps the more sensitive of the two sites—and if we don't find disease there it doesn't mean we've gotten rid of everything, but it certainly is a step in the right direction. I think that if we are able to clear out any disease that we can detect easily, then that's really sometimes the best category to be in, because that's certainly associated with a lot of time before you require additional therapy.
So, yes, we have been able to observe higher rates of remission and higher rates in which the patients have no detectable minimal residual disease after therapy. And recently we completed a study, the Marama study, which compared a popular regimen, bendamustine/rituximab with venetoclax and rituximab for patients who have relapsed CLL. And the upshot there was that the venetoclax/rituximab-treated patients had a more robust response, they had a deeper response, and they appear to be having a longer progression-free survival before requiring additional therapy. And it seems like the survival periods are favoring venetoclax and rituximab, too.
So here we have an oral regimen, venetoclax, compared to an IV regimen, such as bendamustine (Treanda), on being your standard type chemotherapy, and it may, I think in my opinion, eliminate or replace bendamustine/rituximab as a go-to regimen. And I think it's going to be a very important study in terms of governing how we manage our patients in the future.