Medication Monitor

Generic Name (Trade Name—Company)
June 22, 2019

Polatuzumab vedotin-piiq

FDA approves regimen for patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

FDA granted accelerated approval to polatuzumab vedotin-piiq as the first chemoimmunotherapy regimen to treat adult patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) that has progressed or returned after at least two prior therapies. DLBCL is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The drug is used in combination with the chemotherapy drug bendamustine and a rituximab product (a combination known as “BR”). Polatuzumab vedotin-piiq is an antibody that is attached to a chemotherapy drug. It binds to the CD79b protein found only on B cells, then releases the chemotherapy drug into those cells.

The most common adverse effects of the drug plus BR include neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, diarrhea, fever, decreased appetite, and pneumonia. Health professionals are advised to monitor patients closely for infusionrelated reactions, low blood counts, and fatal or serious infections. They should also monitor patients for tumor lysis syndrome, liver damage, and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a fatal or lifethreatening infection of the brain.

Women of reproductive age should use effective contraception during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take the drug because it may cause harm to a developing fetus or newborn baby.