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In the December 2017 issue of the American Journal of Hematology, Courtney D. DiNardo from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), Houston, TX, and colleagues published results of their study, which aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of venetoclax (VEN [an oral, selective BCL2 inhibitor]) combination strategies in the salvage setting in patients with Relapsed/Refractory (R/R) Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and/or associated myeloid malignancies including Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) and Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm (BPDCN).
In total, 43 patients (median age = 68, range, 25–83 years) with R/R AML (n = 39), MDS (n = 2) or BPDCN (n = 2), who were treated with VEN salvage combination regimens between 10 June 2016 and 6 July 2017 at the MDACC were analyzed in this study. Patients received ≥ 14 Days of VEN with either Hypomethylating Agents (HMAs), azacitidine (n = 8) or decitabine (n = 23) or Low-Dose Cytarabine (LDAC [n = 8]) or other (n = 4).
In summary, this is the first study to report on the “effectiveness of VEN combination strategies for R/R myeloid population”. The authors stated that their findings demonstrate that low-dose chemotherapy either with HMAs or LDAC, in combination with VEN is a “viable salvage treatment” and provides an alternative therapy option for patients with R/R AML, MDS, and BPDCN. Moreover, responses were observed in patients with diploid/intermediate cytogenetics, RUNX1, and/or IDH1/2 mutations.
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