New treatment strategies are improving outcomes for patients with Hodgkin (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) but achieving durable responses and cure in the relapsed patient remain a challenge. Both the mTORC1 inhibitor everolimus (RAD001) and the IMiD, lenalidomide (LEN) have efficacy as single agents in patients with relapsed and refractory (R/R) HL and NHL. Individually, LEN and RAD present a low toxicity profile and in combination may offer synergistic therapeutic efficacy by unique mechanisms of action. A phase I/II clinical trial of RAD and LEN was designed to explore the tolerability, toxicity and to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of this combination for the Phase II study. The results of phase I/II data are reported here.


MC0981 was activated on January 10, 2011. In phase I, the study enrolled a total of 25 patients and RAD 5 mg daily + LEN 10 mg/d X 21d in a 28-day cycle was defined as the MTD. The phase II opened on May 14, 2013, and closed on Feb 19, 2014, during which 33 patients were enrolled and were treated until progression of disease. Eligibility required age ≥18, biopsy proven relapsed or refractory NHL or HL, ECOG PS 0- 2, measurable disease, Hb >9g/dl, ANC ≥1200/uL, platelet ≥ 50,000/uL, creatinine ≤1.5xULN and willingness to sign informed consent. Women of child bearing potential had pregnancy testing and all patients followed recommendations for contraception. Follow up data was analyzed as of July 2014.


A total of 58 patients were enrolled to this study and fifty five are evaluable for analysis (2 never started therapy, 1 deemed ineligible). The median age was 62 years (21-82) and 38 (69.1%) were male. Sixty-five percent had stage IV disease and 42% had 4 or more prior treatments including stem cell transplantation in 49%. Histologies included HL (n=10) and NHL (n=45 with 23 DLBCL, 2 FL-III, 5 LPL, 3 MCL, 2 MF, and 3 other). At least 1 Gr≥3 adverse event was seen in 74.5% of patients. The most common Gr≥3 toxicities were hematologic - neutropenia (30.9%), and thrombocytopenia (21.8%), and anemia (10.9%). Nine of 55 patients (16%) had Gr≥3 infection; 2 with skin infection, 1 with cholecystitis, 1 with lung infection, 1 with pharyngitis 1 with otitis externa, 1 with otitis media, and 1 with pleural infection and 1 with upper respiratory tract infection. Seven patients discontinued treatment due to adverse events. At this time, 44% (25/55) remain progression-free. A documented tumor response, as overall response rate (ORR) was seen in 20% (11/55) with 1CR, 8PR, and 2MR; 17 remain on therapy; and 22 deaths have occurred with a median survival of 15.0 months (95% CI 7.5-NR). Median follow up time was 5.5 (range, 0.7- 41.0) months. The median duration of response (DOR) in those responding is 19.4 months.


In a heavily pretreated population with baseline compromised bone marrow function, the combination of everolimus and lenalidomide is feasible with a modest ORR and a surprisingly long DOR. Future studies in more defined groups of NHL or HL are necessary to better predict which patients will be long-term responders.

This trial is sponsored by Novartis and Celgene


Off Label Use: mTORC1 inhibitor (Everolimus) and the Immunomodulatory (IMiD) drug Lenalidomide for patients with Heavily Pretreated Relapsed Lymphoma . Mikhael:Onyx: Research Funding; Celgene: Research Funding; Sanofi: Research Funding; Novartis: Research Funding. Nowakowski:Celgene, Morphosis: Consultancy. Witzig:Celgene: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Novartis: Research Funding. Reeder:Millennium, Celgene, Novartis: Research Funding.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

Sign in via your Institution