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Although this response rate is “substantial,” said Dr Przepiorka, the investigators wanted to know whether this drug could be added to the standard-of-care chemotherapy regimen known as ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine), or should it replace bleomycin in this regimen.
A total of 389 patients were randomized to oral venetoclax 400 mg once daily, given until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity, for a maximum of 2 years, plus rituximab for 6 cycles versus 6 cycles of bendamustine plus rituximab. In the venetoclax arm, the dose was gradually increased to 400 mg daily over 4 to 5 weeks to reduce the likelihood of tumor lysis syndrome.
Lead investigator Joseph M. Connors, MD, FRCPC, Clinical Director, Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada, reported the results of the phase 3 ECHELON-1 clinical trial, which were also published online (Connors JM, et al. N Engl J Med. 2018;378:331-344) to coincide with the ASH meeting.
Among patients with untreated follicular lymphoma, 75% achieved complete responses with the 3-drug combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq), obinutuzumab (Gazyva), and bendamustine (Treanda), results of a small, preliminary clinical trial reported at ASH 2017 showed.
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