Advertisement

Ibrutinib Alone or in Combination with Rituximab Produces Superior Progression Free Survival (PFS) Compared with Bendamustine Plus Rituximab in Untreated Older Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL): Results of Alliance North American Intergroup Study A041202

Jennifer A. Woyach, Amy S. Ruppert, Nyla A. Heerema, Weiqiang Zhao, Allison M Booth, Wei Ding, Nancy L. Bartlett, Danielle M. Brander, Paul Barr, Kerry A. Rogers, Sameer A. Parikh, Steven Coutre, Arti Hurria, Gerard Lozanski, Sreenivasa Nattam, Richard A. Larson, Harry P. Erba, Mark R. Litzow, Carolyn Owen, Jim Atkins, Jeremy S. Abramson, Richard F. Little, Scott E. Smith, Richard M. Stone, Sumithra J Mandrekar and John C. Byrd

Abstract

Embedded Image

Introduction:

The most effective initial therapy for older adults with CLL has not yet been established due to the lack of comparison of chemoimmunotherapy (CIT) and targeted therapy with the Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) inhibitor ibrutinib. CIT has been the gold standard since studies showing that addition of CD20 antibody to chemotherapy prolongs survival. Bendamustine plus rituximab (BR) is one standard, more aggressive CIT regimen for patients (pts) age 65 or older. While ibrutinib has been FDA approved for untreated CLL since 2016, it has only been compared to chlorambucil, which is relatively ineffective, and never before to aggressive CIT. Additionally, the benefit of the addition of rituximab to ibrutinib in this setting has not been prospectively studied in a phase 3 trial. As part of a randomized phase 3 trial, the Alliance sought to answer these important clinical questions.

Pts and Methods:

Alliance A041202 is a multicenter NCI National Clinical Trials Network phase 3 study comparing BR (Arm 1) with ibrutinib (Arm 2) and the combination of ibrutinib plus rituximab (Arm 3) to determine whether ibrutinib-containing regimens are superior to CIT in terms of PFS. Additionally, this study sought to determine if adding rituximab to ibrutinib would prolong PFS over ibrutinib alone. At time of progression, pts on Arm 1 could cross over to Arm 2. Eligible pts were those age ≥ 65 years with previously untreated, symptomatic CLL. Pts had a CrCl ≥ 40 mL/min, bilirubin ≤ 1.5 x ULN, and no significant life-limiting intercurrent illness or need for warfarin treatment. Pts were stratified based upon Rai stage, Zap-70 methylation performed centrally, and del(17)(p13.1) or del(11)(q22.3) by local interphase cytogenetics and were randomized 1:1:1 to each arm. With 166 pts per arm, the trial was powered to detect an improvement in 2-year PFS from 61% in Arm 1 to 75% in Arms 2 or 3 (HR=0.586) using two one-sided log-rank tests with type I error rate of 2.5% and 90% power. The Alliance Data and Safety Monitoring Board approved the data release after meeting the protocol-defined efficacy threshold at a planned interim analysis with a one-sided critical value of 0.001538. These data were locked July 2, 2018; updated results will be presented at the meeting.

Results:

Between 12/9/2013 and 5/16/2016, 547 pts were registered and randomized (Arms 1: 183, 2: 182, and 3: 182). Median age was 71 years and 67% of pts were men. High-risk Rai stage (stage III/IV) was seen in 54%, unmethylated Zap-70 in 53%, and del(17p) or del(11q) by local FISH in 28%. Local vs centralized FISH was performed for del(11q) and del(17p) with agreement between local and central results in 94% (Kappa=0.80) and 97% (Kappa=0.76) of pts, respectively. 525 (96%) pts were eligible and included in the primary PFS analysis (Arms 1: 176, 2: 178, and 3: 171). With median follow-up of 32 months (mo), median PFS was 41 mo in Arm 1 and has not been reached in Arms 2 or 3 (HR comparing Arm 2 to 1 is 0.40 with one-sided p<0.0001; HR comparing Arm 3 to 1 is 0.41 with one-sided p<0.0001; HR comparing Arm 3 to 2 is 1.01 with one-sided p=0.48). 2-year PFS estimates were 74%, 87% in 2, and 88% in Arms 1, 2, and 3 respectively. At this time, there are no significant differences in overall survival (OS) among arms (p=0.87), median OS has not been reached for any arm, and 2-year OS estimates were 95%, 90%, and 94% in Arms 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Adverse events (AEs) were compared among arms using Fisher's exact tests. Grade 3+ treatment-emergent AEs were seen in 428 of 537 evaluable pts with 61%, 41%, and 38% of pts experiencing Grade 3+ heme AEs (p<0.0001) and 60%, 72%, and 71% of pts experiencing Grade 3+ non-heme AEs (p=0.03) in Arms 1, 2, and 3 respectively. Grade 5 AEs were seen in 5 (2.8%), 14 (7.8%), and 14 (7.7%) pts (p=0.07). Unexplained or unwitnessed death over the entire observation period was seen in 2 (1.1%), 7 (3.9%), and 4 (2.2%) pts (p=0.24) in Arms 1, 2, and 3 respectively.

Conclusions:

This international phase 3 trial demonstrates that ibrutinib produces superior PFS to standard CIT in older pts with CLL and justifies it as a standard of care treatment for pts age 65 and older. The addition of rituximab does not prolong PFS with ibrutinib. While ibrutinib represents a major therapeutic advance, toxicities and also cost justify future efforts to reduce the need for long-term continuous treatment.

Support: K23CA178183, R01CA183444, U10CA180821, U10CA180882, U24CA196171, Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01886872

Disclosures Ding: Merck: Research Funding. Bartlett: Astra Zeneca: Research Funding; ImaginAB: Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Research Funding; Bristol-Meyers Squibb: Research Funding; Gilead: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Genentech: Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Research Funding; Affimed: Research Funding; Janssen: Research Funding; Novartis: Research Funding; Merck & Co: Research Funding; KITE: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Pfizer: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Acerta: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Celgene: Research Funding; Immune Design: Research Funding; Forty Seven: Research Funding; Novartis: Research Funding; Millennium: Research Funding. Brander: BeiGene: Other: Institutional research funding for non investigator initiated clinical trial, Research Funding; TG Therapeutics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Institutional research funding for non investigator initiated clinical trial, Research Funding; Genentech: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Institutional research funding for non investigator initiated clinical trial, Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy, Other: DSMB; AbbVie: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Institutional research funding for non investigator initiated clinical trial, Research Funding; Pharmacyclics, an AbbVie Company: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Teva: Consultancy, Honoraria; Acerta: Other: Institutional research funding for non investigator initiated clinical trial, Research Funding; DTRM: Other: Institutional research funding for non investigator initiated clinical trial, Research Funding. Barr: AbbVie, Gilead: Consultancy. Parikh: Gilead: Honoraria; Pharmacyclics: Honoraria, Research Funding; MorphoSys: Research Funding; Janssen: Research Funding; AstraZeneca: Honoraria, Research Funding; Abbvie: Honoraria, Research Funding. Coutre: Celgene: Research Funding; Janssen: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie Company: Honoraria, Research Funding; Gilead: Research Funding; Beigene: Consultancy; AbbVie: Consultancy, Research Funding. Lozanski: Novartis: Research Funding; BI: Research Funding; Genentech: Research Funding; Stem Line: Research Funding; Coulter: Research Funding; Beckman: Research Funding. Larson: Ariad/Takeda: Consultancy, Research Funding; BristolMyers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Pfizer: Consultancy, Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy, Research Funding. Erba: Amgen: Research Funding; Juno: Research Funding; Daiichi Sankyo: Consultancy, Research Funding; Daiichi Sankyo: Consultancy, Research Funding; MacroGenics: Consultancy; Juno: Research Funding; Janssen: Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Janssen: Research Funding; Juno: Research Funding; Agios: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; MacroGenics: Consultancy; Incyte: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Takeda/Millenium: Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Takeda/Millenium: Research Funding; Incyte: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; MacroGenics: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Janssen: Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Celgene: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Astellas: Research Funding; Glycomimetics: Consultancy, Other: Chair, Data and Safety Monitoring Committee; MacroGenics: Consultancy; Daiichi Sankyo: Consultancy, Research Funding; Pfizer: Consultancy, Other: grant; Astellas: Research Funding; Juno: Research Funding; Janssen: Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Amgen: Research Funding; Agios: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Astellas: Research Funding; Agios: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Novartis: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Amgen: Research Funding; Pfizer: Consultancy, Other: grant; Pfizer: Consultancy, Other: grant; Astellas: Research Funding; Amgen: Research Funding; Agios: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Incyte: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Incyte: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Jazz: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Immunogen: Consultancy, Research Funding; Jazz: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Immunogen: Consultancy, Research Funding; Glycomimetics: Consultancy, Other: Chair, Data and Safety Monitoring Committee; Pfizer: Consultancy, Other: grant; Jazz: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Immunogen: Consultancy, Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Jazz: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Celgene: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Immunogen: Consultancy, Research Funding; Takeda/Millenium: Research Funding; Glycomimetics: Consultancy, Other: Chair, Data and Safety Monitoring Committee; Celgene: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Takeda/Millenium: Research Funding; Daiichi Sankyo: Consultancy, Research Funding; Glycomimetics: Consultancy, Other: Chair, Data and Safety Monitoring Committee. Owen: Janssen: Honoraria, Research Funding; Celgene: Research Funding; AstraZeneca: Honoraria, Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Research Funding; F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd: Honoraria, Research Funding; AbbVie: Research Funding; Merck: Honoraria; Teva: Honoraria. Abramson: Bayer: Consultancy; Novartis: Consultancy; Merck: Consultancy; Karyopharm: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy; Verastem: Consultancy; Humanigen: Consultancy; Juno Therapeutics: Consultancy; Gilead: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy; Amgen: Consultancy.

  • * Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

  • Embedded Image This icon denotes a clinically relevant abstract