Venetoclax


Venetoclax is an experimental drug designed to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia AND acute myeloid leukemia; In 2015, the FDA approved the authorization of this drug, bringing satisfactory effects to the patients who took it.

Venetoclax is being developed by Abbvie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is usually a slow-growing cancer of the bone marrow and blood in which types of white blood cells called lymphocytes become cancerous and multiply abnormally, so Venetoclax inhibits the attack the cells producing great improvement in patients suffering from this disease.

This drug can cause side effects such as:

Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) is caused by the rapid breakdown of cancer cells, causing kidney failure, the need for dialysis treatment, and can lead to death.

Low white blood cell counts (neutropenia) are common with this treatment, but can also be serious. Your doctor will do blood tests to check your blood counts during treatment. You should tell your doctor right away if you have a fever or any signs of an infection. It may also include diarrhoea, nausea, feeling tired.

Venetoclax was evaluated in a single-arm dose study of more than 100 patients with CLL. All patients enrolled in the study had previously received treatment, many had received multiple therapies.

Nearly 80% of patients in the study responded to venetoclax, and in about 85% of those patients, responses lasted a year or more. The drug was especially effective in patients with a poor prognosis, including patients whose tumors did not respond to chemotherapy treatment.

The most toxic side effect was tumor lysis syndrome, which occurred in 3 of the first 56 patients treated, one of whom died. The dosing schedule in the study was altered after this, administering venetoclax on a escalating dosing schedule, which lowered the risk of tumor lysis syndrome.