A drug that strips cancer cells of their quest for immortality represents an effective new option for patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia, including those not helped by the only class of drugs currently approved to treat the disease, a clinical trial by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators demonstrates.

Of the 32 patients in the trial, more than 80% had a "major" response to a two-year course of the drug, venetoclax—a rate comparable to that of current treatments for the disease—with generally manageable side effects. The results, reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, make venetoclax a strong candidate for endorsement by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) as an accepted treatment for WM, according to the study authors.

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