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A phase I study of pevonedistat, azacitidine, and venetoclax in patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia.

Haematologica 2024 April 5
Azacitidine/venetoclax is an active regimen in patients with newly diagnosed AML. However, primary or secondary resistance to azacitidine/venetoclax is an area of unmet need and overexpression of MCL-1 is suggested to be a potential resistance mechanism. Pevonedistat inhibits MCL-1 through activation of NOXA, and pevonedistat/azacitidine has previously shown activity in AML. To assess the tolerability and efficacy of adding pevonedistat to azacitidine/venetoclax in relapsed/refractory AML, we conducted a phase I multicenter openlabel study in 16 adults with relapsed/refractory AML. Patients were treated with azacitidine, venetoclax along with pevonedistat intravenously on days 1, 3 and 5 of each 28-day cycle at 10, 15 or 20 mg/m2 in successive cohorts in the dose escalation phase. The impact of treatment on protein neddylation as well as expression of pro-apoptotic BCL2 family members was assessed. The recommended phase II dose of pevonedistat was 20 mg/m2. Grade 3 or higher adverse events included neutropenia (31%), thrombocytopenia (13%), febrile neutropenia (19%), anemia (19%), hypertension (19%) and sepsis (19%). The overall response rate was 46.7% for the whole cohort including complete remission (CR) in 5 of 7 (71.4%) patients who were naïve to the hypomethylating agent/venetoclax. No measurable residual disease (MRD) was detected in 80.0% of the patients who achieved CR. The median time to best response was 50 (range: 23 - 77) days. Four patients were bridged to allogeneic stem cell transplantation. The combination of azacitidine, venetoclax and pevonedistat is safe and shows encouraging preliminary activity in patients with relapsed/refractory AML. (NCT04172844).

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