This is my first post on this very interesting and helpful website of a marvellous community. I am attending a trial with the new medicin Venetoclax and I’d like to share the good news with you (and I hope you will forgive me my mistakes in using the English language )
I live in the Netherlands, 57 years old and diagnosed with CLL in October 2010. I started with a succesful FCR treatment in February 2011. After ending this treatment I started living ‘normally’ again, hard working, sports and enjoying life. But in February this year my WBC counts started being higher than normal and moved rapidly upwards in the next months. A second FCR treatment seemed to be the most applicable treatment. But my wife read about studies related to ABT-199 and we asked my doctor if he knew any studies in the Netherlands. And to our surprise he told us that there was a study starting in the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam. This study compares Venetoclax in combination with Rituximab against Bedamustine in combination with Rituximab (Murano study). After some research on the internet, we decided to attend this trial.
After some medical checks I started in August with a very low daily dosis of 20mg Venetoclax. Because of the risk of TLS I had to stay for three days in hospital. A week later the same procedure, but then with 50mg a day. Everything went well and so the next weeks my daily dosis went up to 100mg, 200 mg and finally to 400mg. After those weeks the combined therapy started. I got an infusion with Rituximab (combined with Prednison to prevent side effects). Yesterday I had my 4th infusion of Rituximab. I have to take the Venetoclax pills every day for a period of 2 years.
Until now everything is going very well. My WBC counts went down from 253 in August to 56 in the beginning of September and to 2.7 (but still 57% neutrofills) at the end of September. And my HB went up from 6.3 (mmol/L) to 8.9 yesterday (I noticed that you use an other unity for HB). The results of a bone marrow biopt four weeks ago showed a CLL-volume of 0.6%!
So I returned to work as from the beginning of November, do sports (tennis and field hockey) like before and am enjoying life.
I realise that maybe I am not representative for each individual patient, but hope that these kind of medicins will make living with CLL a bit more comfortable for all of us.
Best wishes to all of you.