Phase 2 study of venetoclax plus carfilzomib and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma

Blood Adv. 2021 Oct 12;5(19):3748-3759. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020004146.


Proteins in the antiapoptotic B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) family play a role in the pathophysiology of multiple myeloma (MM). Venetoclax is a highly selective, potent, oral BCL-2 inhibitor that induces apoptosis of MM cells, and its efficacy may be potentiated through combination with agents that increase BCL-2 dependency or have complementary mechanisms of action. The safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and antitumor activity of venetoclax in combination with carfilzomib and dexamethasone (VenKd) in adults with relapsed/refractory MM (RRMM) were investigated in this phase 2 dose-escalation study. Oral venetoclax (400 or 800 mg) was administered daily in combination with intravenous carfilzomib (27, 56, or 70 mg/m2) and oral dexamethasone (20 or 40 mg) in 4 dose-finding cohorts. The expansion cohort received venetoclax 800 mg, carfilzomib 70 mg/m2, and dexamethasone 40 mg. Forty-nine patients received treatment. Median prior lines of therapy was 1 (range, 1-3), and median time in the study was 27 months. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events were diarrhea (65%), fatigue (47%), nausea (47%), and lymphopenia (35%). Serious adverse events occurred in 26 (53%) patients. Of 3 treatment-emergent deaths, 1 was considered treatment related. The overall response rate was 80% in all patients, 92% in patients with t(11;14) (n = 13), and 75% in patients without (n = 36). The rate of complete response or better was 41%. Median progression-free survival was 22.8 months. Treatment with VenKd was well tolerated and showed promising response rates in this RRMM patient population, with greater responses observed in patients with t(11;14). This trial is registered at as #NCT02899052.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma* / drug therapy
  • Oligopeptides
  • Sulfonamides


  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic
  • Oligopeptides
  • Sulfonamides
  • carfilzomib
  • Dexamethasone
  • venetoclax

Associated data