Generic Name: polatuzumab vedotin-piiq
Drug Class: Targeted Therapy Medications
Approval Status: Approved
Generic Version Available: No
Polivy is a CD79b-directed antibody-drug conjugate approved for relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in combination with bendamustine and a rituximab product such as Rituxan.
Polivy consists of an antibody that binds to the CD79b receptor protein on malignant B cells combined with the chemotherapy drug monomethyl auristatin E. This drug is too toxic to use by itself, but the antibody carries it directly to cancer cells, which reduces harm to normal cells. The drug inhibits cell division and causes apoptosis (cell suicide).
A Phase Ib/II clinical trial showed that Polivy plus bendamustine and Rituxan leads to a higher rate of cancer remission in people with previously treated relapsed or refractory (nonresponsive) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. In this study, 40% of people treated with the triple combination experienced complete response, compared with 18% of those treated with bendamustine and Rituxan alone. Polivy was first approved in June 2019.
Polivy is an intravenous infusion administered every 21 days for six cycles.
Common side effects include peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, diarrhea, fever and decreased appetite. Polivy can cause depletion of red blood cells (anemia), white blood cells (neutropenia) and platelets (thrombocytopenia), which can lead to infections and easy bleeding. Potentially serious side effects include opportunistic infections, liver toxicity, infusion reactions and tumor lysis syndrome, or metabolic abnormalities that can occur when many cancer cells are killed at once. Polivy can cause fetal harm if used during pregnancy.
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Last Reviewed: June 10, 2019