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AML Study Reports High Reponse Rates

Published: 2017-12-11 |

Source: M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Initial findings from a multi-national open label phase study of inhibitory drug therapy for relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have demonstrated a complete response in up to 50 percent patients say researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The patients, age 60 years or older, received therapy with venetoclax in combination with cobimetinib or idasanutin. The clinical trial followed patients who received therapy for a prior blood disease and who were not eligible for cytotoxic therapy.

Preliminary results from the ongoing dose-escalation study, which demonstrated that the combination therapies can be safely administered with minimal side effects, were presented Dec.11 at the American Society of Hematology's (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition Dec. 8-12 in Atlanta. The trial is headed by Marina Konopleva, M.D., Ph.D. and Michael Andreeff, M.D., Ph.D., both professors of Leukemia, as well as Naval Daver, M.D., associate professor of Leukemia.

"This is the first clinical study evaluating new oral combinations with venetoclax in AML patients," said Konopleva. "This is significant as effective treatment options for patients with relapsed and/or refractory AML are limited."

Venetoclax, which inhibits the B-cell lymphoma protein (BCL-2) that makes cancer cells resistant to therapy, was previously FDA-approved for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Idasanutlin is an investigational drug targeting a protein called MDM2 which impacts the tumor suppressor gene p53, while cobimetinib targets a protein known as MEK within the cancer cell and is FDA-approved for treatment of advanced melanoma with BRAF mutation.

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