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The expanding role of venetoclax in chronic lymphocytic leukemia and small lymphocytic lymphoma

Authors Schieber M, Ma S

Received 7 December 2018

Accepted for publication 1 February 2019

Published 12 March 2019 Volume 2019:9 Pages 9—17


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor David Dingli

Michael Schieber, Shuo Ma

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA

Abstract: The BCL-2 protein family members inhibit cellular apoptosis, and their overexpression represents a common survival adaption in cancer. Recently, a selective BCL-2 inhibitor ABT-199, venetoclax, has demonstrated remarkable activity in relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), both as a single agent and in combination with anti-CD20 immunotherapies, such as rituximab. In this article, we review the development and latest clinical data that have led to the expanded approval of venetoclax with rituximab in relapsed/refractory CLL/SLL. We also discuss ongoing and future clinical trials designed to evaluate the efficacy of venetoclax in previously untreated patients and to investigate venetoclax combinations with inhibitors of B-cell receptor signaling pathway. These studies hope to offer an expanded list of chemotherapy-free regimens for patients with CLL/SLL.

Keywords: CLL, SLL, venetoclax, BCL2

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