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IACH Focus on Leukemia 2020 | Treating AML with BCL-2 inhibitors

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Thomas Prebet

Thomas Prebet, MD, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, discusses the use of BCL-2 inhibitors to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Studies investigating hypomethylating agents plus venetoclax in AML patients with no prior treatment show that there is clinical improvement in response rate and survival. However, there are still areas for improvement. Patients with complex cytogenetics are harder to treat. BCL-2 inhibitors need to be improved to generate a longer duration of response. This interview took place during the 2020 Annual Meeting of the International Academy for Clinical Hematology (IACH).

Transcript (edited for clarity)

The use of BCL-2 inhibitor in myeloid malignancies, and in particular in acute myeloid leukemia, is one of the most exciting addition we have to the treatment option for this patient. The data show that we have a clear improvement of response rate and survival of patients treated with a combination of hypomethylating agent plus venetoclax in acute myeloid leukemia that has not been exposed to any prior treatment...

The use of BCL-2 inhibitor in myeloid malignancies, and in particular in acute myeloid leukemia, is one of the most exciting addition we have to the treatment option for this patient. The data show that we have a clear improvement of response rate and survival of patients treated with a combination of hypomethylating agent plus venetoclax in acute myeloid leukemia that has not been exposed to any prior treatment. But that’s the starting point. As we have many other combinations, many other group of patient that are currently investigated and see if we can potentially replicate the benefit we saw in the acute myeloid leukemia settings. We still need to do some work as the results are not perfect, especially for the patient that had maybe the harder-to-treat a disease, such as patient with complex and unfavorable cytogenetics. We definitely need to have a way to really improve the duration of response for all of the patients, but that’s definitely extremely exciting and promising to work right now in the AML field and in the myeloid fields, seeing these results. A lot of things to do.

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