CLL Coverage from Every Angle

CLL14 Trial: Impact of Venetoclax Plus Obinutuzumab Treatment on Health-Related Quality of Life

By: Emily Rhode
Posted: Tuesday, September 7, 2021

According to an analysis of the phase III CLL14 trial, published in the American Journal of Hematology, patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) given a novel fixed-duration front-line treatment of venetoclax plus obinutuzumab maintained or partly improved their health-related quality of life. Kirsten Fischer, MD, of the German CLL Study Group and the University of Cologne, Germany, and colleagues analyzed quality-of-life data on elderly and unfit patients with previously untreated CLL and coexisting conditions treated on this clinical trial regimen.

“The higher efficacy of venetoclax plus obinutuzumab is not associated with quality-of-life impairment, and venetoclax plus obinutuzumab achieves early relief of CLL-related symptoms in elderly unfit patients,” the investigators commented.

The study included 432 patients with CLL, with a median age of 72, a cumulative illness rating scale score of > 6, and/or a creatine clearance < 70 mL/min. The patients were randomly assigned into two groups of 216, with one arm receiving venetoclax plus obinutuzumab for a median duration of 11.1 months and the other arm receiving chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab for a median duration of 10.8 months. In addition, a pair of quality-of-life questionnaires were distributed to the patients.

Regardless of the treatment protocol, all patients reported increased global health status or quality of life. A greater proportion of patients undergoing treatment with venetoclax plus obinutuzumab showed meaningful improvements across measures, with fewer experiencing decline. There was also earlier improvement in global health status or quality of life than in patients in the chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab arm. Patients receiving venetoclax plus obinutuzumab did not seem to experience significant impairment in baseline function, global health status, symptom burden, or interference during or after treatment. These same patients also saw average fatigue and insomnia scores improve by ≥ 9 points.

“These results importantly show treatment goals being achieved without compromising patients’ functioning and overall quality of life.” the authors stated.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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