The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Venetoclax (Venclexta) for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
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The FDA has approved venetoclax (Venclexta – Abbvie/Genentech), an oral selective BCL-2 inhibitor, for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in patients with a 17p deletion who have received at least one prior therapy. The 17p deletion is associated with a poor prognosis in patients with CLL1,2; it is prevalent in about 20% of patients with relapsed CLL. Venetoclax is the first BCL-2 inhibitor to become available in the US.

MECHANISM OF ACTION — BCL-2 is an antiapoptotic protein that is overexpressed in many CLL cells. Overexpression of BCL-2 increases tumor cell survival and is associated with increased resistance to chemotherapy. Venetoclax binds directly to BCL-2 and has induced apoptosis in vitro in tumor cells that overexpress BCL-2.

CLINICAL STUDIES — A total of 116 patients with relapsed or refractory CLL or ... more      

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Title: Venetoclax (Venclexta) for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
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