Highlights from

ASH 2020

62nd Annual Meeting & Exposition of the American Society of Hematology

Virtual 5 - 8 December 2020

Venetoclax-hypomethylating agent combination therapy shows promising results in favourable-risk acute myeloid leukaemia

In 46 patients with favourable-risk acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), treatment using venetoclax in combination with a hypomethylating agent (HMA) elicited favourable and durable responses. Most patients also exhibited a negative minimal residual disease (MRD) status following treatment [1].

Previous studies have demonstrated high rates of complete remission of AML in older and unfit patients when treated with venetoclax + HMA, but there is minimal data exploring the effect of venetoclax + HMA in the subgroup who have a favourable-risk AML. Older patients with favourable-risk AML are known to achieve worse outcomes in the long-term as compared to their younger counterparts.

Dr Shukaib Arslan (City of Hope National Medical Center, California, USA) and colleagues retrospectively analysed outcomes of 46 older patients (median age 70 years) with favourable-risk AML who received venetoclax + HMA treatment. Of the 46 patients, 26 had newly diagnosed AML, and 20 had relapsed or refractory AML. The complete remission (CR)/CR with incomplete recovery (CRi) across the entire group was 80% (52% CR and 28% CRi). There was no difference in composite remission rates between the patients with newly diagnosed AML versus those who had relapsed or refractory AML. All 26 patients underwent MRD assessment; 22 (85%) showed negative MRD. The median duration of overall survival across the cohort was 18 months, while the median duration of leukaemia-free survival was 13.2 months. The 30- and 60-day mortality was 0% and 9%, respectively.

The researchers concluded that the excellent composite remission rates and durable responses realised by venetoclax + HMA treatment in older adults with favourable-risk AML make it a promising treatment approach for this subpopulation of patients.

  1. Arslan S, et al. Outcomes of Therapy with Venetoclax Combined with Hypomethylating Agents in Favorable-Risk Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). 62nd ASH Annual Meeting, December 5-8, 2020. Abstract 994.

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