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ASH 2023: How Effective is Venetoclax After a BTK Inhibitor for CLL?
Posted: Feb 12, 2024
ASH 2023: How Effective is Venetoclax After a BTK Inhibitor for CLL? image

At the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2023 conference, Dr. Nilanjan Ghosh from the Levine Cancer Institute in North Carolina shared research about how venetoclax (Venclexta) is effective as a second or third-line therapy for CLL patients who were previously treated with chemotherapy and/or a covalent BTK inhibitor. Types of covalent BTK inhibitors include ibrutinib (Imbruvica), acalabrutinib (Calquence), and zanubrutinib (Brukinsa). 

This is important for CLL patients to understand because the majority of patients eventually need to discontinue long-term use of a covalent BTK inhibitor. Two of the main reasons that patients need to stop taking a covalent BTK inhibitor are because of side effects or because the CLL cells become resistant to the medicine over time. 

How Effective is Venetoclax After a Covalent BTK Inhibitor?

Dr. Ghosh found that CLL patients who switch from a covalent BTK inhibitor to venetoclax tend to have a good response.

If you have stopped taking a BTK inhibitor and are looking for your next line of therapy, here is what you can expect for how well venetoclax may work for you: 

  • There is an 84.1% chance that your CLL signs and symptoms may be reduced by venetoclax.  
  • Venetoclax is administered for a set period of time. If you are taking the medicine as a second line of therapy, you would be receiving the treatment over the course of two years and then stopping. Dr. Ghosh found that the average amount of time the medicine kept patients in remission was 3.6 years since the start of treatment.   

How Effective is Venetoclax if I’ve Previously Received Chemotherapy and a Covalent BTK Inhibitor? 

If you have received chemotherapy as your first treatment followed by a covalent BTK inhibitor, here is what you can expect for how well venetoclax may work for you: 

  • There is a 78.3% chance that your CLL signs and symptoms may be reduced by venetoclax.  
  • Venetoclax is administered for a set period of time. If you are taking the medicine as a third line of therapy, you would be receiving the treatment over the course of two years and then stopping. Dr. Ghosh found that the average amount of time the medicine kept patients in remission was 3.7 years since the start of treatment. 

In conclusion, Dr. Gosh’s research shows that venetoclax can be effective for CLL patients receiving the medicine as a second or even third line of therapy. We are grateful for the research being conducted by specialists in collaboration with patients and look forward to continued advancements in CLL treatment options.

 Interested in Accelerating Research? Join HealthTree Cure Hub!

Are you interested in accelerating research toward a cure for CLL? We have created a powerful patient data portal named HealthTree Cure Hub for this very purpose. We invite you to join the 12,000-and-counting blood cancer patients who are collaborating with specialists through research surveys and studies in HealthTree Cure Hub. YOU are the key to improving CLL care. We are grateful for your time and support in helping us progress toward a CLL cure. Create your free HealthTree Cure Hub account by visiting the link below!

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The author Megan Heaps

about the author
Megan Heaps

Megan joined HealthTree in 2022. As a writer and the daughter of a blood cancer patient, she is dedicated to helping patients and their caregivers understand the various aspects of their disease. This understanding enables them to better advocate for themselves and improve their treatment outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family. 

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