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2226 Long-Term Sustained Responses Following Ibrutinib Discontinuation after Frontline Therapy with Obinutuzumab Plus Ibrutinib in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 642. CLL: Therapy, excluding Transplantation: Poster II
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Leukemia, Adult, CLL, Diseases, Elderly, Therapies, Lymphoid Malignancies, Study Population, Clinically relevant
Sunday, December 6, 2020, 7:00 AM-3:30 PM

Paula A. Lengerke Diaz, MD1, Michael Y. Choi, MD2,3*, Eider F. Moreno Cortes, MD4*, Jose V. Forero, MD4*, Juliana Velez-Lujan, Ph.D.5*, Carlos I. Amaya-Chanaga, MD6*, Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD2,3* and Januario E. Castro, MD4

1Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ
2Moores Cancer Center, UCSD, La Jolla, CA
3CLL Research Consortium (CRC), UCSD, San Diego, CA
4Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, AZ
5UCSD-Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA
6Eisai Inc, Woodcliff Lake, NJ

Single oral targeted therapies have emerged as a standard of care in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, accessibility, side effects, and financial burden associated with long term administration limit their clinical use. Mainly, it is unclear in what clinical situation discontinuation of oral therapy can be recommended.

The combination of type II anti-CD20 antibody obinutuzumab-Gazyva® with ibrutinib (GI) has shown a significant progression-free survival benefit in patients (pts) with CLL, including those with high-risk genomic aberrations. We conducted a phase 1b/2, single-arm, open-label trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of GI as first-line treatment in 32 CLL pts. We report the outcome in pts that discontinued ibrutinib (either after 3 years of sustained complete response (CR) as stipulated in the clinical protocol, or due to other reasons).

CLL pts enrolled in this protocol were ≥65 years old, or unfit/unwilling to receive chemotherapy. Pts received GI for six cycles, followed by daily single-agent ibrutinib. The protocol was designed to ensure that pts with a sustained CR after 36 months were allowed to discontinue ibrutinib.

The median age was 66 years (IQR 59–73), and 6% of the evaluated pts had 17p deletion. All pts were able to complete the six planned cycles of obinutuzumab. The combination regimen was well-tolerated, and the most common adverse events (>5% CTCAE grade 3-4) were neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and hyperglycemia. The rate and severity of infusion-related reactions (IRR) were much lower than expected (Grade≥ 3, 3%), and pts without IRR had lower serum levels of cytokines/chemokines CCL3 (P=0.0460), IFN-γ (P=0.0457), and TNF-α (P=0.0032) after infusion. The overall response rate was 100%, with nine pts (28%) achieving a CR, and four pts (12.5%) with undetectable minimal residual disease (uMRD) in the bone marrow, defined as <10-4 CLL cells on multicolor flow cytometry. At a median follow-up of 35.5 months (IQR 24.5–42.7) after starting treatment, 91% of the enrolled pts remain in remission with a 100% overall survival.

Sixteen pts have completed a long-term follow-up of 36 months. Six pts showed CR, with three of them achieving uMRD in the bone marrow. Ten of these pts were in PR, and only one had disease progression and started treatment for symptomatic stage I disease with obinutuzumab plus venetoclax.

In total, thirteen pts (41%) have stopped ibrutinib, with a median time on treatment prior to discontinuation of 35 months. Five (16%) of these pts had CRs and discontinued after 36 months. Eight additional pts (25%) had PRs and discontinued ibrutinib without being eligible: three pts discontinued prior to 36 months due to toxicities, and five pts discontinued after 36 months (3 due to side effects, and 2 due to financially driven decision). One patient eligible to discontinue ibrutinib, decided to remain on treatment despite sustained CR. After a median follow up time following ibrutinib discontinuation of 8 months (IQR 3.5-17), only two out of 13 pts have progressed (10 and 17 months after Ibrutinib discontinuation). None of the pts that stopped ibrutinib after achieving a CR have shown signs of disease progression.

Of note, the pharmaceutical sponsor provided ibrutinib for the first 36 months, after which pts or their insurer became financially responsible. This particular scenario could bias the discontinuation pattern compared to a real world experience. It also provided us with a perspective about diverse factors affecting the treatment choices of pts.

In summary, the obinutuzumab plus ibrutinib combination therapy was well-tolerated, with a much lower IRR rate. Efficacy compares favorably with historical controls with all pts responding to therapy, no deaths associated with treatment or disease progression, and a longer than expected time-to-progression after discontinuation of ibrutinib. The rate of ibrutinib discontinuation was higher than reported in the literature, most likely influenced by the protocol design and financial decisions driven by the switch from sponsor-provided ibrutinib to insurance or self-paid medication. Our observations regarding safety, efficacy and lack of disease progression after ibrutinib discontinuation are encouraging, and warrant confirmation in long-term prospective studies. Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT02315768. Funding: Pharmacyclics LLC.

Disclosures: Choi: AbbVie: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau. Amaya-Chanaga: AbbVie: Ended employment in the past 24 months, Other: Research performed while employed as an investigator of this study at UCSD.. Kipps: Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding. Castro: Kite Pharma: Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Research Funding; Fate Therapeutics: Research Funding.

*signifies non-member of ASH