Abstract

Introduction

Transformation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) into Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a rare, but recognized complication of CLL. The prognosis of CLL with HL Transformation (HT) appears significantly worse than de novo HL, but most series are small and there are limited published data. These reports have prompted several groups to recommend aggressive therapy with stem cell transplantation (SCT) in first complete remission (CR1). We describe the largest reported series of HT patients (pts) with analyses of the clinicobiologic characteristics, treatment patterns, and clinical outcomes based upon our multi-institutional clinical experience.

Methods

Pts diagnosed with HT from 01/2000 - 01/2018 were retrospectively identified in 13 tertiary cancer centers. Clinicobiologic characteristics, treatment type, and survival outcomes for each pt were analyzed. Overall survival (OS) was measured from the time of HT diagnosis until time of death. OS estimates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. The log-rank test was used to calculate differences in survival.

Results

Ninety-four pts with HT were identified. Median age at HT was 67 years (yrs; range, 38-85) and 81% of the pts were male. Median time from CLL diagnosis to HT was 5.5 yrs (range, 0-20.2; 7 pts with simultaneous diagnosis of CLL and HL). At initial CLL diagnosis, 31%, 34%, 21%, 10%, and 4% were Rai Stage 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. At CLL diagnosis, 67% (25/37) had an un-mutated IgVH gene, 36% (21/59) had del(13q), 32% (14/44) had trisomy 12, 24% (14/59) had del(11q), and 15% (9/61) had del(17p). Prior to HT diagnosis, pts had a median of 2 (range, 0-12) therapies for CLL. Seventeen (18%) had no prior CLL treatments. Forty-three (46%) and 25 (27%) patients had received purine analogue- and ibrutinib-based therapy prior to HT, respectively. Baseline characteristics at HT are described in Table 1. As initial therapy for HL, the majority of pts (61%, n = 62) received ABVD-based regimens (adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine) at full (n = 48) or reduced (n = 14) doses. Of these, CD20 monoclonal antibody was added in 6 and Bruton-tyrosine kinase inhibitor was added in 2. Ten (11%) received a brentuximab-based regimen. Seven (7%) received an RCHOP-based regimen (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone). Six patients (6%) received no therapy for HT due to frailty. Subsequent therapy included autologous SCT and allogeneic SCT in 7 (7%) and 11 (12%) of patients, respectively. Two (2%) and 5 (5%) pts received their autologous and allogeneic SCT while in CR1, respectively. The median number of treatments for HT per pt was 1 (range, 0-5) with 59 (61%) pts only receiving one line of therapy. After HT diagnosis, pts had a median follow-up of 1.6 yrs (range, 0.0 - 15.1). Two-yr OS after HT diagnosis was 72% (95%CI 62 - 83%). The pts who received any CLL directed therapy (n = 80) prior to HT had a significantly lower estimated 2-yr OS of 69% (95%CI 58 - 82%) compared with pts who did not receive any prior CLL-directed therapy (n = 17; 93%; 95%CI 82-100%; p 0.02; Figure 1). Pts who received purine-analogue-based therapy for their CLL prior to HT had a significantly lower estimated 2-yr OS of 60% (95%CI 46 - 79%) compared with pts who did not receive purine-analogue-based CLL-directed therapy prior to HT (n = 51; 83%; 95%CI 73 - 96%; p 0.009; Figure 2). Although limited by small sample size, the pts who underwent SCT for HT in CR1 had a similar 2-yr OS (n = 7; 67%; 95%CI 38-100%) to pts who did not undergo SCT for HT in CR1 (n = 87; 72%; 95%CI 63 - 84%; p 0.46; Figure 3).

Conclusions

In this retrospective analysis, we describe the largest reported series of pts with HT from CLL. Two-yr survival in pts with HT was shorter than what is historically expected in patients with de novo HL, but longer than what is expected in CLL pts who transform to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Pts with HT who have received prior CLL-directed therapies (specifically purine-analogue-based treatments) are estimated to have a shorter 2-yr OS, likely due to underlying immunosuppression. The majority of pts (61%) only received 1 line of HL therapy and only 20% went on to receive SCT (7% while in CR1), indicating that these patients can have prolonged OS after achieving response to first-line therapy for HT and may not require SCT in CR1. Further study of this rare population is required to determine optimum management.

Disclosures

Kander:AstraZeneca: Consultancy. Parikh:Gilead: Honoraria; AstraZeneca: Honoraria, Research Funding; Abbvie: Honoraria, Research Funding; Janssen: Research Funding; MorphoSys: Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Honoraria, Research Funding. Shadman:Acerta Pharma: Research Funding; Verastem: Consultancy; Celgene: Research Funding; Gilead Sciences: Research Funding; Mustang Biopharma: Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Research Funding; AstraZeneca: Consultancy; Beigene: Research Funding; Genentech: Research Funding; Qilu Puget Sound Biotherapeutics: Consultancy; AbbVie: Consultancy; TG Therapeutics: Research Funding; Genentech: Consultancy. Pagel:Pharmacyclics, an AbbVie Company: Consultancy; Gilead: Consultancy. Mato:Portola: Research Funding; AstraZeneca: Consultancy; Acerta: Research Funding; Prime Oncology: Honoraria; Regeneron: Research Funding; Celgene: Consultancy; Pharmacyclics, an AbbVie Company: Consultancy, Research Funding; Medscape: Honoraria; TG Therapeutics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Johnson & Johnson: Consultancy; AbbVie: Consultancy, Research Funding. Hill:Amgen: Research Funding; Abbvie: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Seattle Genetics: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Pharmacyclics: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Novartis: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Genentech: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Pfizer: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Pharmacyclics: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Abbvie: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Seattle Genetics: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Novartis: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Pfizer: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Danilov:Verastem: Consultancy, Research Funding; Aptose Biosciences: Research Funding; Takeda Oncology: Research Funding; Genentech: Consultancy, Research Funding; TG Therapeutics: Consultancy; Bayer Oncology: Consultancy, Research Funding; Astra Zeneca: Consultancy; Gilead Sciences: Consultancy, Research Funding. Phillips:Abbvie: Research Funding; Bayer: Consultancy; Gilead: Consultancy; Genentech: Consultancy; Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy. Brander:Pharmacyclics, an AbbVie Company: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; AbbVie: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Institutional research funding for non investigator initiated clinical trial, Research Funding; Acerta: Other: Institutional research funding for non investigator initiated clinical trial, Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy, Other: DSMB; Teva: Consultancy, Honoraria; TG Therapeutics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Institutional research funding for non investigator initiated clinical trial, Research Funding; DTRM: Other: Institutional research funding for non investigator initiated clinical trial, Research Funding; Genentech: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Institutional research funding for non investigator initiated clinical trial, Research Funding; BeiGene: Other: Institutional research funding for non investigator initiated clinical trial, Research Funding. Smith:BMS: Consultancy; Portola: Honoraria. Davids:Surface Oncology: Research Funding; Roche: Consultancy; Sunesis: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Celgene: Consultancy; Sunesis: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Verastem: Consultancy, Research Funding; Janssen: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Surface Oncology: Research Funding; Astra-Zeneca: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Gilead: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Janssen: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Roche: Consultancy; MEI Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Astra-Zeneca: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Verastem: Consultancy, Research Funding; Roche: Consultancy; Sunesis: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Genentech: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Genentech: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; BMS: Research Funding; BMS: Research Funding; MEI Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Abbvie: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Abbvie: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Genentech: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Abbvie: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; TG Therapeutics: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; TG Therapeutics: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; TG Therapeutics: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Merck: Consultancy; Merck: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy; Astra-Zeneca: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Gilead: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Gilead: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Merck: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy; BMS: Research Funding; Surface Oncology: Research Funding; MEI Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Janssen: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Verastem: Consultancy, Research Funding.

Author notes

*

Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.