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312 Ponatinib in Combination with FLAG-IDA Chemotherapy for Blast-Phase Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: Final Results of the Seamless Phase I/II Dose-Finding UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) Matchpoint Trial

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Type: Oral
Session: 632. Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: Clinical and Epidemiological: Mechanisms of resistance and expanded therapies
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Clinical Trials, Clinical Research, Clinically Relevant, Diseases, Myeloid Malignancies
Saturday, December 11, 2021: 5:15 PM

Mhairi Copland, PhD, MBBChir, FRCP, FRCPath1, Daniel Slade2*, Graham McIlroy2*, Gillian Horne1*, Jennifer Byrne3*, Kate Rothwell4*, Kristian Brock2*, Hugues De Lavallade5*, Charles Craddock, FRCP, FRCPath6, Richard Clark7*, Matthew Smith8*, Rachel Fletcher2*, Rebecca Bishop, BSc2*, Dragana Milojkovic9* and Christina Yap, BSc, MSc, PhD2,10*

1Paul O'Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
2Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
3Centre for Clinical Haematology, Nottingham University, Nottingham, ENG, United Kingdom
4Department of Clinical Heamatology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, ENG, United Kingdom
5Department of Haemato-Oncology, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation, London, United Kingdom
6Centre for Clinical Haematology, University Hospitals Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
7Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
8Department of Haemato-Oncology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, United Kingdom
9Centre for Haematology, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
10Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom


Outcomes for patients with blast-phase chronic myeloid leukaemia (BP-CML) are extremely poor, and allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) represents the only opportunity for cure. Crucially, long-term survival post-transplant depends on first attaining a return to chronic phase though salvage treatment. Novel strategies that improve response and can optimise transplant outcomes are therefore required. In the era of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), BP-CML has become an orphan disease. Consequently, the prospective trials needed to guide clinical practice are rarely attempted. We now report the final results of the prospective MATCHPOINT trial which uses an innovative EffTox design to investigate the activity and tolerability of the TKI ponatinib in combination with high-dose chemotherapy, to improve remission status and transplant outcomes in BP-CML.

Methods and patients

Between March 2015 and April 2018, 17 patients were recruited through the UK Trials Acceleration Programme to this dose-finding, seamless phase I/II trial of daily ponatinib combined with fludarabine, cytarabine, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and idarubicin (PON-FLAG-IDA) salvage therapy. We employed EffTox, an advanced Bayesian method to simultaneously consider response to treatment (efficacy) and dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) in all treated patients, providing a single measure of clinical utility, which then informed the subsequent dose level recommendation. The primary objective was to determine the optimal dose of ponatinib, in combination with chemotherapy, as determined by the EffTox model. The primary outcomes were attainment of a second chronic phase and occurrence of a DLT. Secondary outcomes investigated the toxicity of combination therapy, alloSCT outcomes, and survival. The median follow-up of trial patients is 41 months.


Nine patients completed one cycle of PON-FLAG-IDA, a further eight patients completed both planned cycles. Using an EffTox analysis, the optimal dose of ponatinib was determined as 30mg once daily. Eleven patients achieved a return to chronic phase and four experienced a DLT, fulfilling the pre-specified criteria for clinically relevant efficacy and toxicity. After PON-FLAG-IDA salvage, eight patients attained complete cytogenetic response and five major molecular response (MMR). The most common grade 3-4 non-hematologic toxicities were febrile neutropenia (29% of patients), lung infection (24%), fever (18%) and hypocalcaemia (18%). Three patients experienced treatment-related mortality. Twelve patients proceeded to alloSCT, of whom seven are alive after median 36 months post-transplant follow-up. Only one of the five patients achieving MMR relapsed post-alloSCT, neither of the other relapsing patients achieved a second chronic phase pre-transplant. Median overall survival (OS) of the whole cohort was 12 months (95% confidence interval 6 months to non-calculable), median OS of patients undergoing alloSCT has not been reached.


Ponatinib has shown that it can be safely combined with high-dose chemotherapy to achieve a return to chronic phase in patients with BP-CML, and represents an effective novel treatment strategy in this high-risk population. Responding patients subsequently undergoing alloSCT can benefit from long-term disease-free survival. The EffTox method enabled very efficient data usage from this high-risk patient population, and is a model for investigating novel therapies in other ultra-orphan cancers.

Figure: Overall survival of the MATCHPOINT cohort

Disclosures: Copland: Cyclacel Ltd: Research Funding; Astellas: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Jazz: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Novartis: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Pfizer: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Incyte: Honoraria, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau. Byrne: Incyte: Honoraria. Rothwell: Novartis: Honoraria; Incyte: Honoraria; Pfizer: Honoraria; Daiichi Sankyo: Honoraria. Brock: Eli Lily: Honoraria; Invex Therapeutics: Honoraria; Merck: Honoraria; Roche: Honoraria; AstraZeneca: Current holder of individual stocks in a privately-held company; GSK: Current holder of individual stocks in a privately-held company. De Lavallade: Pfizer, Novartis.: Honoraria; Bristol Myers Squibb, Incyte: Honoraria, Research Funding. Craddock: Novartis Pharmaceuticals: Other: Advisory Board ; Celgene/BMS: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding. Clark: Novartis: Honoraria, Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Honoraria, Research Funding; Pfizer: Honoraria. Smith: Daiichi Sankyo: Speakers Bureau; Pfizer: Speakers Bureau; ARIAD: Honoraria. Milojkovic: Novartis: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Pfizer: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Incyte: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau. Yap: Faron Pharmaceuticals: Honoraria; Celgene: Honoraria.

OffLabel Disclosure: Ponatinib for the treatment of blast-phase CML

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