EHA 2019 | CLL: Venetoclax in combination with obinutuzumab

Tanya Siddiqi

Tanya Siddiqi, MD, of City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA, discusses a Phase III trial investigating venetoclax in combination with obinutuzumab in the frontline setting for older/frail chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients, which has led to the FDA approval of the combination. This interview took place at the 24th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2019, held in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Transcript (edited for clarity):

The big couple of things have been venetoclax plus obinutuzumab, a phase III trial that was presented at ASCO and now is good also going to be presented here in Europe, in frontline setting of older or frailer patients.

This has led to FDA approval of venetoclax plus obinutuzumab in the frontline setting, I think across the board, although the study was in older, frailer patients or with some comorbidity. I think it’s a great option that’s been added because other novel agents other than ibrutinib did not have frontline approval yet.

And ibrutinib as you know, single agent is sort of a lifelong indefinite treatment. Whereas venetoclax plus obinutuzumab gives the option of starting with the treatment and telling patients, “OK, we’re gonna stop in a year or two years or whatever and and see what happens.” So it’s finite therapy, which is more attractive to, especially younger patients, with CLL.

So that’s one good thing. The other good thing is the transcend CLL study that I presented. We just talked about the CAR T-cells and then there’s a lot of other combinations. I mean, combinations are big now in CLL because all the monotherapy data is already out there. So now every possible combination is being done to see which will do better than others. So ibrutinib plus venetoclax, updated results are pending, et cetera.

So I think there’s a lot of exciting stuff in CLL and every six months or so, the paradigm changes, there’s an update. And we’ll see what happens by the end of this year.

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