BACKGROUND: The treatment of relapsed or refractory (R/R) acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) remains challenging and outcomes extremely poor. The introduction of venetoclax has transformed the treatment of AML and emerging data suggest that venetoclax-based therapy may enforce salvage treatment.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this nationwide Danish retrospective study, we analysed treatment outcomes of venetoclax-based salvage treatment for R/R AML between 2019 and 2022. Only venetoclax-naive patients who had previously received treatment with intensive chemotherapy therapy were included.
RESULTS: The cohort consisted of 43 R/R patients with a median age of 57 years. Nine (20.9%) were primary refractory and 34 (79.1%) patients had relapsed, including 21 after previous allogeneic stem cell transplantation. The overall response rate was 76.2% including 61.9% with composite complete remission (CRc: CR + CRi). Among CRc-responders with information on measurable residual disease (MRD), 8/13 (61.5%) obtained an MRD-negativity response. The overall survival was 9.3 months for all patients with an estimated 1-year overall survival of 34%. For CRc-responders the median overall survival was 13.3 months, and the median relapse-free survival was 12.8 months.
CONCLUSION: Venetoclax-based salvage treatment for R/R AML produced high response rates; however, for most patients the response was of limited duration. This study is limited by an observational design and prone to selection bias.