Long-term Follow-up of Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treated with Venetoclax in a Phase I, First-in-Human Study


We previously reported a 44% overall response rate (ORR) with the oral BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax in a phase I study of relapsed/refractory non–Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Complete response (CR) was observed in patients with mantle cell lymphoma [(MCL), 21%, n = 6/28] and follicular lymphoma [(FL), 17%, n = 5/29], and partial response (PR) noted in several patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM), and marginal zone lymphoma (MZL). Here, we report the long-term outcomes of these four cohorts.

Patients and Methods:

All patients (n = 106) received venetoclax monotherapy in dose cohorts of 200 to 1,200 mg daily until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. ORR, progression-free survival (PFS), duration of response (DoR), and adverse events (AEs) were evaluated.


At a median follow-up of 38.5 months (range, 30.0–46.5), the median PFS for all 106 patients was 5.4 [95% confidence interval (CI), 3.5–8.4] months (FL, 10.8; MCL, 11.3; MZL, 21.2; and WM, 30.4). The median DoR was 14.9 (95% CI, 9.7–27.6) months (FL, 26.6; MCL, 15.7; MZL, 20.1; and WM, 25.3). Achievement of CR versus PR predicted longer DoR in both MCL (31.5 vs. 10.1 months) and FL (37.6 vs. 9.7 months). All grade hematologic AEs were infrequent: neutropenia (19%), anemia (19%), and thrombocytopenia (17%), with no new cytopenias after 2 years on therapy. Nonhematologic AEs included nausea (49%), diarrhea (46%), fatigue (44%), with decreased incidence after 1 year.


Venetoclax monotherapy has a manageable safety profile and achieves durable responses in a subset of patients with FL, MCL, WM, and MZL, particularly in those who achieve CR. Further research is warranted on combination strategies to enhance the durability of response to venetoclax.