Outpatient initiation of venetoclax in patients with acute myeloid leukemia

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J Oncol Pharm Pract


INTRODUCTION: Venetoclax is a treatment option in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in both the front-line and relapsed/refractory settings. Initiation of therapy has been previously restricted to the inpatient setting at some institutions due to a risk of tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) and limitations in medication access efficiency given the high cost of therapy.

METHODS: We assessed the safety of initiating venetoclax in the outpatient setting through a single-arm, retrospective study of adult AML patients between April 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

RESULTS: Eighty-two patients started venetoclax during this time, with 47 (57%) patients initiated in the outpatient setting. Fifty-five percent of patients received venetoclax as first-line treatment for AML (n = 45) and 45% of patients received venetoclax for relapsed/refractory AML (n = 37). Successful initiation, defined as no hospitalizations secondary to TLS within seven days of therapy initiation, occurred in 98% of patients. The rate of TLS was 2.1% (n = 1) following venetoclax initiation. TLS symptoms were managed during hospitalization, requiring only one day of missed AML therapy. Median turnaround time for medication access was three days. Hospitalizations within seven days occurred in 17% of patients (n = 8), with the majority due to febrile neutropenia.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of our study provide further evidence for the safety and feasibility of initiating venetoclax in the outpatient setting with a pharmacist-led interdisciplinary protocol.

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ePub ahead of print