B-cell lymphoma-2 inhibition and resistance in acute myeloid leukemia


World J Clin Oncol. 2020 Aug 24;11(8):528-540. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v11.i8.528.


Spurred by better understanding of disease biology, improvements in molecular diagnostics, and the development of targeted therapies, the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has undergone significant evolution in recent years. Arguably, the most exciting shift has come from the success of treatment with the B-cell lymphoma-2 inhibitor venetoclax. When given in combination with a hypomethylating agent or low dose cytarabine, venetoclax demonstrates high response rates, some of which are

durable. In spite of this, relapses after venetoclax treatment are common, and much interest exists in elucidating the mechanisms of resistance to the drug. Alterations in leukemic stem cell metabolism have been identified as a possible escape route, and clinical trials focusing on targeting metabolism in AML are ongoing. This review article highlights current research regarding venetoclax treatment and resistance in AML with a focus on cellular metabolism.