Venetoclax in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone for relapsed multiple myeloma – second line and beyond
Venetoclax is being developed as an enteric coated tablet to be given in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone for the treatment of relapsed multiple myeloma (MM). MM is a blood cancer that arises from the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Normal plasma cells have a role in fighting infections through the production of antibodies. The abnormal plasma cells multiply and spread within the bone marrow, releasing a large amount of a single type of antibody that has no useful function. Symptoms of MM include bone pain, fractures, body weakness, malaise, bleeding, anaemia and infections. MM usually cannot be cured, thus further treatment is needed when the cancer comes back (a relapse).
Venetoclax acts by blocking a protein called B-cell lymphoma (BCL)-2 that mediates the survival of MM cells. Bortezomib and dexamethasone are currently used to treat MM and it is hypothesised that both working via different mechanisms can improve sensitivity to Venetoclax in relapsed MM. The combination of venetoclax, bortezomib, and dexamethasone will offer an additional treatment option for patients with relapsed MM in patients who have received at least one, but no more than three, prior lines of therapy.