Dr Lindsey Roeker: Adding Rituximab to Venetoclax in Patients With CLL

Lindsey Roeker, MD, clinical fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses adding rituximab to venetoclax to allow for a 2-year fixed-duration treatment schedule for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
February 03, 2020

Adding rituximab to venetoclax allows for a 2-year fixed duration treatment schedule for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, said Lindsey Roeker, MD, clinical fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Transcript:
What are some factors that predict outcomes for patients with CLL who use venetoclax alone or venetoclax with rituximab?
So we know that there are genetic features that make people higher risk when treated with venetoclax, and those are well-defined genetic features. We've used real-world evidence to look at whether how much that anti-CD20 antibody is adding to venetoclax. And really, I think the role that plays is allowing for a time-limited therapy per the MURANO data. So adding rituximab to venetoclax allows for a 2-year fixed duration treatment schedule, whereas venetoclax as a monotherapy has traditionally been used as an ongoing therapy. I think the role of the CD20 is really, we have data to say that that can be a time-limited therapy.

Can biosimilar rituximab help make combination therapy for patients with CLL more cost effective?
Absolutely. I think as we have more options that are more affordable, these will be options that are available for more patients all around the world. And I think that's a really exciting opportunity. I think within academic communities, I think that there will be uptake. It's unclear to me what the practitioners in the community are going to be doing. I have less of a finger on the pulse there.

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