Venetoclax is a targeted therapy and B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) inhibitor that blocks an important pathway promoting cell survival in tumor cells that overexpress BCL-2, so venetoclax causes tumor cells to die. Many treatments used for WM, such as rituximab, bortezomib, carfilzomib, and bendamustine, do not have formal FDA approval for WM. However, the use of these therapies is supported by prospective data, fully vetted, published in peer-reviewed journals, and included as part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) guidelines and the International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Workshop consensus panel guidelines. Venetoclax, while promising, has not yet achieved such a status, and trials with patients who have WM are ongoing with venetoclax alone and in combination with ibrutinib for patients with WM.
This IWMF Venetoclax fact sheet covers how venetoclax works, side effects, and useful self-care tips. The new fact sheet is available in English. The fact sheet can be downloaded HERE (scroll to the bottom of the page).