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No Added Benefit of Eight Versus Six Cycles of CHOP When Combined with Rituximab in Previously Untreated Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Patients: Results from the International Phase III GOYA Study

Laurie H Sehn, Angela Giovanna Congiu, Dominic J. Culligan, Mercedes Gironella, Dok Hyun Yoon, Michinori Ogura, Andras Rosta, Jun Zhu, Aino Launonen, Tina Nielsen, Gila Sellam, Marek Trněný, Umberto Vitolo and Maurizio Martelli

Abstract

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Introduction: Standard of care for previously untreated patients (pts) with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is rituximab (R) plus 6-8 cycles of CHOP (R-CHOP). While the RICOVER trial (Pfreundschuh et al. Lancet Oncol 2008) showed no benefit of 6 versus 8 cycles of R-CHOP administered at 2-weekly intervals, this has not been assessed with the standard 3-weekly regimen, and many centers continue to administer 8 cycles. GOYA (NCT01287741) was an open-label, randomized, Phase III study of the efficacy and safety of R-CHOP versus obinutuzumab (GA101; G) plus CHOP in previously untreated pts with DLBCL. The current exploratory analysis compared investigator (INV)-assessed progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in pts receiving 6 or 8 cycles of CHOP in combination with 8 cycles of R in GOYA.

Methods: Eligible pts were aged ≥18 years with histologically documented, CD20-positive DLBCL and ≥1 bi-dimensionally measurable lesion, ECOG PS 0-2, IPI score ≥2, and adequate hematologic function. Low-risk pts with IPI score 1 not due to age alone or 0 with bulky disease (1 lesion ≥7.5cm) were also eligible. Pts who were randomized to R-CHOP received 8 cycles of R (375mg/m2) in combination with 6 (CHOP6) or 8 (CHOP8) cycles of CHOP. Centers elected upfront to administer either 6 or 8 CHOP cycles to all pts enrolled at that site. Efficacy was evaluated in all pts who were randomized to R-CHOP (intent-to-treat population; data cut-off: January 31, 2018). Safety was assessed in all pts who completed the 6th treatment cycle and received R in the 7th cycle (CHOP6 safety population: no additional CHOP cycles; CHOP8 safety population: at least 7 or 8 CHOP cycles received). Only AEs starting during or after the 7th cycle were considered. Statistical analyses included Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox-regression, with and without propensity score adjustment to correct for baseline imbalances.

Results: Results are reported for 712 pts who were randomized to R-CHOP (CHOP6, n=526; CHOP8, n=186; safety population: CHOP6, n=461; CHOP8, n=144). In the CHOP6 group, 55% were male and median age was 62 years (range 54-70). In CHOP8, 49% were male and median age was 60 years (range 47-67). Baseline characteristics were broadly comparable across treatment groups, except for geographic region (CHOP6 vs CHOP8: Asia, 32% vs 49%, respectively; Eastern Europe, 10% vs 24%; Western Europe, 36% vs 13%; North America, 18% vs 8%; other, 4% vs 5%). In CHOP6, 89% completed 6 cycles of R-CHOP, while in CHOP8, 76% completed 8 cycles. Three-year INV-assessed PFS rates were comparable between groups: 68.7% in CHOP6 versus 66.8% in CHOP8 (HR 0.92; 95% CI: 0.69, 1.23; Figure 1a). Three-year OS rates appeared higher in the CHOP6 group (83.2% vs 76.2% in CHOP8; HR 0.65; 95% CI: 0.46, 0.91; Figure 1b). PFS and OS comparisons were unchanged after propensity score adjustment for the prespecified baseline characteristics, including age, gender, disease stage, geographic region, IPI score, extranodal sites, body surface area, bulky disease, LDH, and COO (PFS: HR 0.96, 95% CI: 0.70, 1.32; OS: HR 0.66, 95% CI: 0.45, 0.97). Interim treatment response (by CT) did not influence these findings. Model-based subgroup analysis according to baseline pt characteristics did not identify any pt subgroups benefitting from 8 versus 6 cycles of CHOP (Figure 1c). Incidence of grade 3-5 adverse events (AEs) was lower in the CHOP6 group than in the CHOP8 group (17.8% vs 38.9%, respectively); cardiac AEs (all grade: 2.4% vs 6.3%; grade 3-5: 1.3% vs 3.5%) and infections (all grade: 10.6% vs 23.6%) were also less common. In support of these findings, similar results were achieved after repeating the same efficacy analysis in pts who received 6 or 8 cycles of CHOP in combination with 8 cycles of obinutuzumab.

Conclusions: In this exploratory analysis of 712 previously untreated DLBCL pts in GOYA, in which the number of CHOP cycles was selected upfront by each site, no additional PFS benefit was observed with 8 cycles of R-CHOP compared with 6 cycles of R-CHOP plus 2 cycles of R, even after adjusting for baseline differences, including COO and IPI. Slow response, assessed by interim CT, did not influence these findings. Furthermore, incidence of grade 3-5 AEs (including cardiac) and any grade infections was markedly higher in pts receiving 8 cycles of CHOP versus 6 cycles. These results suggest that rituximab with 6 cycles of 3-weekly CHOP should be considered standard of care.

Disclosures Sehn: Janssen: Consultancy, Honoraria; Morphosys: Consultancy, Honoraria; Merck: Consultancy, Honoraria; Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria; Abbvie: Consultancy, Honoraria; Amgen: Consultancy, Honoraria; Lundbeck: Consultancy, Honoraria; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria; Roche/Genentech: Consultancy, Honoraria; TG Therapeutics: Consultancy, Honoraria; Karyopharm: Consultancy, Honoraria. Culligan: JAZZ: Honoraria; Celgene: Other: Support to attend conferences; Takeda: Honoraria, Other: Support to attend conferences; Daiichi-Sankyo: Other: Support to attend conferences; Abbvie: Other: Support to attend conferences; Pfizer: Honoraria; Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD): Honoraria. Ogura: Cellgene: Honoraria; Celltrion: Research Funding; Takeda: Honoraria; SymBio: Research Funding. Launonen: Roche: Employment, Other: Travel, accommodation, expenses; Novartis: Consultancy, Equity Ownership, Other: Ownership interests none PLC; Travel. accommodation, expenses; Launonen: Other: Ownership interests none PLC; Travel, accommodation, expenses. Nielsen: F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd: Employment, Other: Ownership interests PLC. Sellam: Roche: Employment. Trněný: Morphosys: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Advisory board; Takeda: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Advisory board; Incyte: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Advisory board; F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Advisory board, Research Funding; Janssen: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Advisory board; Gilead: Honoraria; Celgene: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Advisory board; Sandoz: Honoraria; Abbvie: Honoraria, Research Funding. Vitolo: Gilead: Speakers Bureau; Janssen: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau; Roche: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Takeda: Speakers Bureau; Celgene: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Sandoz: Speakers Bureau. Martelli: Servier: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Celgene: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Gilead: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Janssen: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Novartis: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Mundipharma: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Sandoz: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; F. Hoffman-La Roche: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees.

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

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