Conference Coverage

Venetoclax plus ibrutinib yields encouraging MRD results in first-line CLL



– The combination of ibrutinib plus venetoclax yielded a high rate of undetectable minimal residual disease (MRD) when used as first-line treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to preliminary results of the CAPTIVATE trial.

Of the first 30 patients in the trial, 23 (77%) had undetectable blood MRD after just six cycles of combined treatment, said investigator William G. Wierda, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

Dr. William G. Wierda, medical director of the department of leukemia at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

Dr. William G. Wierda

Also, of the 14 patients completing 12 cycles of the combination, 12 (86%) had undetectable bone marrow MRD, including all complete responders and most of the partial responders.

“These early results show a highly active and safe treatment with 12 cycles of combined treatment with ibrutinib and venetoclax,” Dr. Wierda said in a presentation of the CAPTIVATE results at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Those MRD results are “at least as good as we can achieve with chemoimmunotherapy,” Bruce D. Cheson, MD, head of hematology at Georgetown University, Washington, said during a discussion of the CAPTIVATE study results.

Dr. Cheson referenced MRD results from a 2016 analysis of the CLL8 and CLL10 trials, which included patients treated with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) and bendamustine plus rituximab (BR). In that analysis, 33.6% of patients achieved MRD-negative complete response and 29.1% achieved MRD-negative partial response.

In CAPTIVATE, by contrast, all of the complete remissions were MRD negative, as were a majority of the partial responders, Dr. Cheson noted.


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