Background: Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with deletion of the short arm of chromosome 17 (del 17p) follow an aggressive clinical course and demonstrate a median survival of less than 2 years in the relapsed/refractory (R/R) setting. Ibrutinib (ImbruvicaTM), a first-in-class Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, has been approved for previously treated patients with CLL and for patients with del 17p CLL. We report results from the primary analysis of the Phase II RESONATETM-17 (PCYC-1117-CA) study, designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of single-agent ibrutinib for treatment of patients with R/R del 17p CLL or small lymphocytic leukemia (SLL).

Methods: Patients with del 17p CLL or SLL who failed at least one therapy were enrolled to receive 420 mg oral ibrutinib once daily until progression. All patients receiving at least one dose of ibrutinib were included in the analysis. The primary endpoint was overall response rate (ORR) per an independent review committee (IRC). Other endpoints included duration of response (DOR), progression-free survival (PFS), and safety of ibrutinib.

Results: Among 144 treated patients (137 with CLL, 7 with SLL), the median age was 64 (48% 65 years or older) and all had del 17p. Baseline characteristics included 63% of patients with Rai Stage III or IV disease, 49% with bulky lymphadenopathy of at least 5 cm, and 10% with lymphadenopathy of least 10 cm. The median baseline absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) was 32.9 x 109/L with 57% of patients with a baseline ALC at least 25.0 x 109/L. Baseline beta-2 microglobulin levels were at least 3.5 mg/L in 78% of patients (range 1.8-19.8 mg/L), and lactate dehydrogenase levels were at least 350 U/L in 24% of patients (range 127-1979 U/L). A median of 2 prior therapies (range 1-7) was reported. Investigator-assessed ORR was 82.6% including 17.4% partial response with lymphocytosis (PR-L). Complete response (CR)/complete response with incomplete bone marrow recovery (CRi) were reported in 3 patients. IRC-assessed ORR is pending. At a median follow up of 13.0 months (range 0.5-16.7 months), the median PFS (Figure 1) and DOR by investigator determination had not been reached. At 12 months, 79.3% were alive and progression-free, and 88.3% of responders were progression-free. Progressive disease was reported in 20 patients (13.9%). Richter transformation was reported in 11 of these patients (7.6%), 7 of the cases occurring within the first 24 weeks of treatment. Prolymphocytic leukemia was reported in 1 patient. The most frequently reported adverse events (AE) of any grade were diarrhea (36%; 2% Grade 3-4), fatigue (30%; 1% Grade 3-4), cough (24%; 1% Grade 3-4), and arthralgia (22%; 1% Grade 3-4). Atrial fibrillation of any grade was reported in 11 patients (7.6%; 3.5% Grade 3-4). Seven patients reported basal or squamous cell skin cancer and 1 patient had plasma cell myeloma. Most frequently reported Grade 3-4 AEs were neutropenia (14%), anemia (8%), pneumonia (8%), and hypertension (8%). Major hemorrhage was reported in 7 patients (4.9%, all Grade 2 or 3). Study treatment was discontinued in 16 patients (11.1%) due to AEs with 8 eventually having fatal events (pneumonia, sepsis, myocardial or renal infarction, health deterioration). At the time of data cut, the median treatment duration was 11.1 months, and 101 of 144 patients (70%) continued treatment with ibrutinib.

Conclusions: In the largest prospective trial dedicated to the study of del 17p CLL/SLL, ibrutinib demonstrated marked efficacy in terms of ORR, DOR, and PFS, with a favorable risk-benefit profile. At a median follow up of 13 months, the median DOR had not yet been reached; 79.3% of patients remained progression-free at 12 months, consistent with efficacy observed in earlier studies (Byrd, NEJM 2013;369:32-42). The PFS in this previously treated population compares favorably to that of treatment-naïve del 17p CLL patients receiving fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) (Hallek, Lancet 2010;376:1164-74) or alemtuzumab (Hillmen, J Clin Oncol 2007;10:5616-23) with median PFS of 11 months. The AEs are consistent with those previously reported for ibrutinib (Byrd, NEJM 2014;371:213-23). These results support ibrutinib as an effective therapy for patients with del 17p CLL/SLL.


O'Brien:Amgen, Celgene, GSK: Consultancy; CLL Global Research Foundation: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Emergent, Genentech, Gilead, Infinity, Pharmacyclics, Spectrum: Consultancy, Research Funding; MorphoSys, Acerta, TG Therapeutics: Research Funding. Jones:Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Research Funding. Coutre:Janssen, Pharmacyclics: Honoraria, Research Funding. Mato:Pharamcyclics, Genentech, Celegene, Millennium : Speakers Bureau. Hillmen:Pharmacyclics, Janssen, Gilead, Roche: Honoraria, Research Funding. Tam:Pharmacyclics and Janssen: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Siddiqi:Janssen: Speakers Bureau. Furman:Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau. Brown:Sanofi, Onyx, Vertex, Novartis, Boehringer, GSK, Roche/Genentech, Emergent, Morphosys, Celgene, Janssen, Pharmacyclics, Gilead: Consultancy. Stevens-Brogan:Pharmacyclics: Employment. Li:Pharmacyclics: Employment. Fardis:Pharmacyclics: Employment. Clow:Pharmacyclics: Employment. James:Pharmacyclics: Employment. Chu:Pharmacyclics: Employment, Equity Ownership. Hallek:Janssen, Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Research Funding. Stilgenbauer:Pharmacyclics, Janssen Cilag: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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