Venetoclax rituximab in patients with recurrent or refractory CLL

Venetoclax rituximab is superior to Bendamustin rituximab in progression-free survival in patients with recurrent or refractory CLL.

A Phase III study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on March 22, 2018 in which a total of n = 389 patients with recurrent or refractory CLL received either venetoclax over 2 years plus rituximab in the first 6 months (Venetoclax-Rituximab group), or bendamustine plus rituximab over 6 months (Bendamustin-Rituximab group). After a total of 23.8 months, at follow-up, a 2-year progression-free survival rate of 84.9% was observed for the Venetoclax-Rituximab group compared to 36.3% for the Bendamustin-Rituximab group. The benefits were independent of the risk status related to a deletion in chromosome 17p, as the 2-year rate for venetoclax rituximab on detection was 81.5% deletion in chromosome 17p (versus 27.8% for Bendamustin rituximab) and 85.9% without deletion in chromosome 17p (versus 41.0% for Bendamustin rituximab).

Thus, for patients with recurrent or refractory CLL, it was generally demonstrated that a combination of venetoclax rituximab versus a combination of Bendamustin-Rituximab yields significantly better results in 2-year progression-free survival.