In medically fit patients with CLL, a fixed-duration (15-month) approach achieved a persistent MRD benefit beyond the end of treatment.
The fixed-duration approach was associated with high 3-year progression-free and overall survival rates and low long-term toxicity.
Trials assessing first-line, fixed-duration approaches in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are yielding promising activity, but few long-term data are available. We report follow-up data from a phase 2 trial (ICLL07 FILO) in previously untreated, medically fit patients (N = 135). Patients underwent obinutuzumab-ibrutinib induction for 9 months; then, following evaluation (N = 130 evaluable), those in complete remission and with bone marrow measurable residual disease (BM MRD) <0.01% (n = 10) received ibrutinib for 6 additional months; those in partial remission and/or with BM MRD ≥0.01%, the majority (n = 120), also received 4 cycles of immunochemotherapy (fludarabine/cyclophosphamide-obinutuzumab). Beyond end of treatment, responses were assessed every 3 month and peripheral blood MRD every 6 months. At median follow-up 36.7 months from treatment start, progression-free and overall survival rates (95% confidence interval) at 3 years were 95.7% (92.0% to 99.5%) and 98% (95.1% to 100%), respectively. Peripheral blood MRD <0.01% rates were 97%, 96%, 90%, 84%, and 89% at months 16, 22, 28, 34, and 40, respectively. No new treatment-related or serious adverse event occurred beyond end of treatment. Thus, in previously untreated, medically fit patients with CLL, a fixed-duration (15 months), MRD-guided approach achieved high survival rates, a persistent MRD benefit beyond the end of treatment, and low long-term toxicity. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02666898.