Key Points

  • The safety profile of ibrutinib, lenalidomide, and rituximab in combination was manageable in patients with relapsed/refractory DLBCL.

  • The combination demonstrated promising and durable activity in relapsed/refractory DLBCL, particularly in patients with non-GCB DLBCL.


The outcome of patients with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is poor, particularly in patients ineligible for stem cell transplantation or who fail induction therapy or salvage therapy. The phase 1b portion of this open-label, dose-escalation (3+3+3 design) study examined the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and preliminary safety and activity of the regimen in transplant-ineligible adults with histologically confirmed relapsed/refractory DLBCL after at least 1 prior therapy. Patients received once-daily 560 mg ibrutinib, 375 mg/m2 intravenous rituximab day 1 of cycles 1 to 6, and 10, 15, 20, or 25 mg lenalidomide days 1 to 21 of each 28-day cycle. Forty-five patients were treated; median time since diagnosis was 14.1 months, and 51% of the patients had non–germinal center B-cell–like (non-GCB) DLBCL, 33% had transformed DLBCL, 60% were refractory, and 27% were primary refractory. Because of dose-limiting toxicities, a de-escalation cohort (10 mg lenalidomide) was initiated, and with subsequent re-escalation up to 25 mg lenalidomide, the MTD was not reached. In response-evaluable patients, the overall response rate (ORR) was 44% (complete response [CR], 28%); among them, the ORR was 65% (CR, 41%) in non-GCB and 69% and 56% in relapsed (n = 16) and secondary refractory (n = 27) disease, respectively. Overall and for non-GCB, median response duration was 15.9 months, with 2 patients receiving therapy beyond 3 years. Phase 2 was initiated with 20 mg lenalidomide in relapsed/refractory non-GCB, whereas the phase 1b 25-mg lenalidomide cohort was being completed; an additional 25-mg cohort in phase 2 is currently ongoing. This study was registered at as #NCT02077166.

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