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Protocol Details

Early Clonal Dynamics During Venetoclax Treatment for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

This study is currently recruiting participants.

Summary | Eligibility | Citations | Contacts




Sponsoring Institute

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Recruitment Detail

Type: Participants currently recruited/enrolled
Gender: Male & Female
Min Age: 18 Years
Max Age: N/A

Referral Letter Required


Population Exclusion(s)




Recruitment Keyword(s)



Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Investigational Drug(s)


Investigational Device(s)



Drug: During Venetoclax

Supporting Site

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


The drug venetoclax treats chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Researchers want to find better treatments for CLL. To do that, they need to learn how the drug affects CLL cancer cells and the immune system.


To learn about genetic changes that happen during treatment of CLL with venetoclax.


Adults ages 18 and older with relapsed or refractory CLL after at least 1 prior therapy


Participants will be screened under a separate protocol.

In Phase 1, participants will get venetoclax free of charge through the NIH. Venetoclax is started at a low dose. The dose will be increased every week until participants reach their maximum tolerable dose. This usually take about 5 weeks. Participants will visit the NIH at least once per week. Visits will be about 4 hours. They may have to stay in the hospital to be observed.

In Phase 2, participants will continue to get the drug through their local cancer doctor and their health insurance. Patients will also visit the NIH every 6 months, or if their disease progresses.

At the NIH participants will have regular health assessments. These will include physical exams and a review of the medicines they are taking. They will talk about how they are feeling.

The study included the following tests:

Blood draws

CT scans: Participants will lie in a machine that takes pictures of the body (maximum 3 per year)

Bone marrow biopsies: A small amount of marrow will be taken out of the participant s hip bone with a needle.

Optional lymph node biopsies: A small piece of the participant s tissue will be taken out with a needle.

The study will last at least 2 years.

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a. Diagnosis of CLL/SLL which is made according to the updated criteria of the NCI Working Group16.

b. Active disease as defined by at least one of the following (iwCLL consensus criteria):

-Weight loss greater than or equal to 10% within the previous 6 months

-Extreme fatigue

-Fevers of greater than 100.5 F for greater than or equal to 2 weeks without evidence of infection

-Night sweats for more than one month without evidence of infection

-Evidence of progressive marrow failure as manifested by the development of, or worsening of

--Anemia and/or thrombocytopenia

--Massive or progressive splenomegaly

--Massive nodes or clusters or progressive lymphadenopathy

--Progressive lymphocytosis with an increase of >50% over a 2-month period, or an anticipated doubling time of less than 6 months

c. Must have designated hematologist/oncologist will assume care and provide venetoclax after the ramp-up phase is complete

d. Must have G6PD testing performed to determine whether rasburicase can be given

e. Must have HLA-testing performed to determine whether allopurinol hypersensitivity exists

f. Age greater than or equal to 18 years

g. ECOG 0-2

h. Agreement to use acceptable methods of contraception for the duration of venetoclax treatment if sexually active and able to bear or beget children

i. Willing and able to participate in all required evaluations and procedures in this study protocol including swallowing capsules without difficulty

j. Able to comprehend the investigational nature of the protocol and provide informed consent


a. Female patients who are currently pregnant or nursing

b. Any uncontrolled active systemic infection

c. Any life-threatening illness, medical condition, or organ system dysfunction that, in the investigator s opinion, could compromise the subject s safety or put the study outcomes at undue risk

d. Known additional malignancy that is progressing or requires active treatment.

--Note: Exceptions include basal cell carcinoma of skin, squamous cell carcinoma of skin, and in situ cervical cancer that has undergone potentially curative therapy. Further exceptions include other cancers from which the subject has been diseasefree for > 2 years, cancers which will not limit survival to < 2 years or cancers in remission receiving endocrine therapy.

e. Richter s Transformation

f. Any prior therapy with BCL-2 inhibitors

g. Concomitant use of strong CYP3A4 inhibitors

h. Disease significantly affecting gastrointestinal function or absorption

i. Uncontrolled autoimmune hemolytic anemia or autoimmune thrombocytopenia

j. Concomitant systemic cancer directed therapy (e.g. immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy)

k. Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) <1000/microL, platelets (Plt) <30,000/ microL

l. Serum bilirubin >3 times upper limit of normal (ULN)

m. Severe psychiatric illness/social situations or cognitive impairment that would limit the patient s ability to tolerate and/or comply with study requirements

* If the PI assesses the decreased ANC and/or Plt to be related to CLL involvement, patients may still be enrolled in the study, as cytopenias as expected to improve with treatment of CLL. Patients may receive supportive measures (e.g. transfusions, IVIG, growth factor support, etc.) to avoid severe cytopenias prior to and during therapy with venetoclax.

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Roberts AW, Davids MS, Pagel JM, Kahl BS, Puvvada SD, Gerecitano JF, Kipps TJ, Anderson MA, Brown JR, Gressick L, Wong S, Dunbar M, Zhu M, Desai MB, Cerri E, Heitner Enschede S, Humerickhouse RA, Wierda WG, Seymour JF. Targeting BCL2 with Venetoclax in Relapsed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. N Engl J Med. 2016 Jan 28;374(4):311-22. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1513257. Epub 2015 Dec 6.

Herling CD, Abedpour N, Weiss J, Schmitt A, Jachimowicz RD, Merkel O, Cartolano M, Oberbeck S, Mayer P, Berg V, Thomalla D, Kutsch N, Stiefelhagen M, Cramer P, Wendtner CM, Persigehl T, Saleh A, Altm(SqrRoot) ller J, N(SqrRoot) rnberg P, Pallasch C, Achter V, Lang U, Eichhorst B, Castiglione R, Sch(SqrRoot) fer SC, B(SqrRoot) ttner R, Kreuzer KA, Reinhardt HC, Hallek M, Frenzel LP, Peifer M. Clonal dynamics towards the development of venetoclax resistance in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Nat Commun. 2018 Feb 20;9(1):727. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03170-7.

Stilgenbauer S, Eichhorst B, Schetelig J, Coutre S, Seymour JF, Munir T, Puvvada SD, Wendtner CM, Roberts AW, Jurczak W, Mulligan SP, B(SqrRoot)(Delta)ttcher S, Mobasher M, Zhu M, Desai M, Chyla B, Verdugo M, Enschede SH, Cerri E, Humerickhouse R, Gordon G, Hallek M, Wierda WG. Venetoclax in relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia with 17p deletion: a multicentre, open-label, phase 2 study. Lancet Oncol. 2016 Jun;17(6):768-778. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30019-5. Epub 2016 May 10.

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Principal Investigator

Referral Contact

For more information:

Christopher M. Pleyer, M.D.
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
NIHBC 10 - CRC BG RM 4-5140
(510) 709-6649

Rachel Adams
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
National Institutes of Health
BG NIHBC 10 - CRC RM 4-5350
(301) 412-3920

Office of Patient Recruitment
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Building 61, 10 Cloister Court
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Toll Free: 1-800-411-1222
Local Phone: 301-451-4383
TTY: TTY Users Dial 7-1-1

Clinical Trials Number:


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