CLL Coverage from Every Angle

EHA2021: CLL14 Follow-up Supports Use of Venetoclax Plus Obinutuzumab

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Friday, July 2, 2021

According to a 4-year follow-up analysis of the CLL14 study, presented during the European Hematology Association Virtual Congress (EHA2021; Abstract S146), treatment with venetoclax plus obinutuzumab yielded longer progression-free survival and deep remissions for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), compared with treatment with chlorambucil and obinutuzumab. Kirsten Fischer, MD, of the University Hospital of Cologne, Germany, and colleagues reported that the majority of patients treated with venetoclax and obinutuzumab were free of relapse 3 years after treatment.

“Although adverse features such as TP53 mutation/deletion were not fully mitigated, fixed-duration venetoclax/obinutuzumab continues to be an effective treatment for all patients with CLL and with coexisting conditions,” the authors stated.

In this trial, patients with previously untreated CLL and coexisting conditions were treated with 12 cycles of venetoclax and 6 cycles of obinutuzumab (216 patients) or 12 cycles of chlorambucil with 6 cycles of obinutuzumab (216 patients).

After a median follow-up of 52.4 months, the progression-free survival for patients treated with venetoclax (median not reached) continued to be superior compared with patients who received chlorambucil (36.4 months). At 4 years after treatment, the estimated progression-free survival for those who received venetoclax was 74.0%, compared with 35.4% for those treated with chlorambucil. This improvement was found across all clinical and biologic risk groups, including patients with TP53 mutations or deletions and unmutated IGHV status. In total, 35 cases of disease progression occurred in the venetoclax cohort and 122 in the chlorambucil arm.

In addition, the 4-year time to next treatment was significantly longer for those treated with venetoclax than for those given chlorambucil (81.1% vs. 59.9%, respectively). There appeared to be no difference in overall survival observed between the two groups. At 4 years, 84.5% of the patients treated with venetoclax were alive, compared with 83.1% of those given chlorambucil.

Disclosure: Dr. Fischer has received honoraria from AbbVie and a travel grant from F. Hoffmann–La Roche. For full disclosure of the other study authors, visit

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