BACKGROUND: The advent of the Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib has improved the outlook of patients with CLL and MCL failing chemoimmunotherapy (CIT). However, the impact of ibrutinib on the feasibility and safety of a subsequent alloHCT is unknown. Here we present results of the ibrutinib cohort of an ongoing EBMT survey on the outcome of alloHCT following prior exposure to pathway inhibitors (PI) in patients with CLL or lymphoma (EBMT study code LWP 2013-N-03/CMWP 44204425).
DESIGN: Eligible were patients aged >18 years registered with the EBMT data office for a planned alloHCT for CLL or lymphoma after pre-exposure to ibrutinib at any time before transplant. Baseline patient, disease, and transplant data were collected from MED-A forms. Centers were requested to provide additional treatment and follow-up information. Statistical analysis used Gray's test to assess the impact of baseline characteristics on the cumulative incidence of relapse (REL) in a competing risk framework.
RESULTS: As of July 4, 2016, 38 patients (84% male) were evaluable in the ibrutinib cohort. Diagnosis was CLL in 28 patients, MCL in 9 patients, and follicular lymphoma (FL) in 1 patient. The median age was 51 (33-68) years and the median number of treatment lines prior to ibrutinib 2 (1-9). Eight of the 9 patients with MCL but none of the other patients had a prior autoHCT. Patients had been on ibrutinib for a median of 190 (39-432) days. In 2 patients, ibrutinib had been stopped because of disease progression >100d before transplant, whereas the interval between ibrutinib withdrawal and alloHCT was 15-100d in 30%, 4-14d in 51%, and 0-1d in 14% of the patients. Of the CLL patients, 43% had a TP53 lesion, and 87% and 79% met at least one of the 2007 and 2014 EBMT criteria for high-risk CLL, respectively, including PI failure in 29%. Disease status at alloHCT was sensitive in 78% of the CLL patients, and in 60% of the patients with lymphoma. Conditioning was reduced-intensity in 60% of the transplants and included in-vivo T cell depletion with ATG (71%) or alemtuzumab (11%) in the majority of cases. Donors were identical siblings in 26%, matched unrelated in 66%, and partially matched unrelated in 8%, with PBSC (89%) being the predominant stem cell source (bone marrow 8%, cord blood 3%). The median time to reach neutrophils of >0.5/nl and platelets of >20/nl was 17 (10-26) and 15 (10-46) d post transplant, respectively. Acute GVHD grade 2-4 (3-4) was observed in 37% (10%) of 30 evaluable patients, and limited and extensive chronic GVHD occurred in 24% and 16% of 25 patients at risk. With a median observation time of survivors of 8 (1-24) months, there were only 2 non-relapse deaths, translating into a 1-year non-relapse mortality (NRM) of 6% (95%CI 0-15%). 1-year REL, progression-free survival, and overall survival was 36%, 61%, and 73% for CLL, and 14%, 75%, and 75% for lymphoma. In the 25 evaluable patients with CLL, PI-sensitive compared to refractory disease status at alloHCT tended to be associated with a lower 1-y REL (29% vs 60%; p 0.071), whereas prior PI failure, TP53 status, duration of ibrutinib exposure, interval between ibrutinib withdrawal and alloHCT, and conditioning intensity had no significant impact on REL.
CONCLUSIONS: Ibrutinib for bridging to alloHCT for CLL and MCL does not appear to adversely affect engraftment, GVHD risk, and NRM. Patients with CLL still responding to ibrutinib at the time of alloHCT might benefit from ibrutinib bridging as our preliminary results indicate that also after PI exposure sensitive disease translates into a lower risk of relapse. Therefore, ibrutinib may improve the perspective of CIT-refractory patients scheduled for alloHCT. The optimum timing of ibrutinib administration in the interrelation to alloHCT in CLL and MCL needs to be defined by additional studies.
Dreger: Gilead: Consultancy; Janssen: Consultancy; Novartis: Speakers Bureau; Gilead: Speakers Bureau; Novartis: Consultancy; Roche: Consultancy. Michallet:Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Pfizer: Consultancy, Honoraria; Novartis: Consultancy, Honoraria; Pfizer: Consultancy, Honoraria; Astellas Pharma: Consultancy, Honoraria; MSD: Consultancy, Honoraria; Genzyme: Consultancy, Honoraria. Berg:Celgene: Other: Travel Funding; Astellas: Other: Travel Funding; Alexion: Other: Travel Funding. Niederwieser:Novartis Oncology Europe: Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Amgen: Speakers Bureau. Montoto:Gilead: Research Funding; Roche: Honoraria. Schetelig:Sanofi: Honoraria.