Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common lymphoid malignancy and is generally responsive to anthracycline-containing chemotherapy. However, 60% of patients (pts) will relapse after their first line treatment. At the time of relapse the only curative approach includes the use of a stem cell transplant (SCT). The incidence of DLBCL increases with age which creates a subset of pts who are not candidates for first line anthracycline-based chemotherapy, and a large subset of pts who are not candidates for SCT due to advanced age and/or co-morbidities. Thus, there is a significant unmet need for therapies with a low toxicity profile in elderly or medically unfit pts with DLBCL. 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan (90Y-IT) is an anti-CD20 murine antibody linked with a beta-emitting isotope approved for use in indolent lymphoma. Maintenance rituximab (R) has been reported to increase response rates and prolong remission duration in some lymphomas. We performed a phase II multicenter clinical trial to examine the efficacy of 90Y-IT induction followed by maintenance R in pts with DLBCL.
Eligible pts were either intolerant of anthracycline-based chemotherapy or had relapsed or refractory CD20+ DLBCL with measurable disease. Pts had to be ineligible for SCT for reasons other than failure to harvest stem cells. Bone marrow involvement by lymphoma of less than 25% based on bilateral bone marrow aspirate and biopsy was required. R 250 mg/m2 was administered IV immediately followed by 111In-ibritumomab tiuxetan. Nuclear scans were performed at 24 and 48 hours to insure there was no altered biodistribution. On day 8 a second infusion of R 250 mg/m2 followed by 0.4 mCi/kg (for pts with a baseline platelet count >150,000/mm3) or 0.3 mCi/kg 90Y-IT (for pts with a baseline platelet count 100,000-149,000/mm3) was given. Pts with multiple extranodal sites or prior bone marrow involvement received CNS prophylaxis with intrathecal methotrexate or cytarabine. Maintenance R 375 mg/m2 was given on weeks 3–6, then weekly × 4 every 6 months × 4 cycles or until progression.
Between 10/2003 and 9/2009, 25 pts have been treated. During the course of the study, the ownership of the therapeutic agent changed three times and therefore enrollment was interrupted on two occasions. The median age of pts was 79 (range 45–91), 36% pts had a sIPI score 3 or more. The median number of prior regimens is 2 [0-5]. The 90Y-IT treatment regimen produced an overall response rate of 36% [9 pts] with 28% CR [7 pts]. To date, the mean OS is 18 months (median 8.1 months) with a median follow-up of 11.2 months. Among responding pts, the median OS has not been reached with a median follow-up of over 26.2 [0.1-71.4] months. Thirteen pts died within the first year, 6 patients (24%) continue to be in remission greater than 18 months, and 4 patients (16%) remain in long-term remission [39.9-71.4 months]. The most frequently observed toxicity was hematologic. Eleven percent of pts had grade 4 neutropenia with only one patient experiencing febrile neutropenia, and 16% of pts experienced grade 4 thrombocytopenia. There were no unexpected non-hematologic toxicities except for 1 patient that experienced extravasation. One late-occurring case of MDS/AML was reported that is possibly related to the study regimen, and one case of adenocarcinoma of the GI tract that is likely unrelated. Of note, none of the pts that progressed on the chemotherapy preceding this study achieved a response to the study regimen.
The 90Y-IT treatment regimen has an acceptable toxicity profile in elderly or heavily pretreated pts with DLBCL. The two week outpatient 90Y-IT infusion produces response rates and durations similar to that of more prolonged cytotoxic chemotherapy regimens. Progression on previous chemotherapy predicts for poor response to 90Y-IT. Treatment with 90Y-IT can provide durable remission to a select subset of pts who are not candidates for SCT, or intensive anthracycline based chemotherapy.
Off Label Use: We are describing a phase II study of the use of 90Y-Ibritumomab Tiuxetan for treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Current FDA approved use of 90Y-Ibritumomab Tiuxetan includes relapsed or refractory, low-grade or follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) or previously untreated follicular NHL who achieve a partial or complete response to first-line chemotherapy. Joyce:Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.: Research Funding; Cell Therapeutics Inc: Research Funding; Biogen Idec: Research Funding.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.