Combining venetoclax, a selective BCL2 inhibitor, with low-dose navitoclax, a BCL-XL/ BCL2 inhibitor, may allow targeting of both BCL2 and BCL-XL without dose-limiting thrombocytopenia associated with navitoclax monotherapy. The safety and preliminary efficacy of venetoclax with low-dose navitoclax and chemotherapy was assessed in this phase I dose-escalation study (NCT03181126) in pediatric and adult patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) acute lymphoblastic leukemia or lymphoblastic lymphoma. Forty-seven patients received treatment. A recommended phase II dose of 50 mg navitoclax for adults and 25 mg for patients <45 kg with 400 mg adult-equivalent venetoclax was identified. Delayed hematopoietic recovery was the primary safety finding. The complete remission rate was 60%, including responses in patients who had previously received hematopoietic cell transplantation or immunotherapy. Thirteen patients (28%) proceeded to transplantation or CAR T-cell therapy on study. Venetoclax with navitoclax and chemotherapy was well tolerated and had promising efficacy in this heavily pretreated patient population.
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