Publications by authors named "Franck Morschhauser"

190 Publications

Primary refractory follicular lymphoma: a poor outcome entity with high risk of transformation to aggressive B cell lymphoma.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Sep 8;157:132-139. Epub 2021 Sep 8.

CHIMOMODepartment, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Background: Primary refractory (PREF) follicular lymphoma (FL) has a completely different clinical course from that of FL that responds to front-line treatments. In addition to having poor responses to salvage therapies, it seems that patients with PREF are at increased risk of histological transformation (HT). The Aristotle consortium presented the opportunity of investigating the risk of HT in a very large series of cases. Thus, we investigated the risk of HT in patients with PREF FL compared with that of responding patients or in stable disease and ultimately their outcome.

Methods: Six thousand three hundred thirty-nine patients from the Aristotle database were included in the analysis. These patients had a histologically confirmed grade 1, 2 or 3a FL diagnosed between 1997 and 2013. The primary end-points were the cumulative incidence (CI) of HT at the first progression or relapse and the survival after transformation.

Findings: The 5-year CI of HT among patients with PREF was 34% (95% confidence interval (CI): 27-43), whilst it was 7.1% (95% CI: 6.0-8.5) in the group of patients with partial response (PR) or stable disease (SD) (PR + SD) and 3.5% (95% CI: 3.0-4.2) in the group of patients achieving complete response (CR). The 5-year survival after relapse (SAR) was 33% (95% CI: 28-39) for the PREF group, 57% (95% CI 54-61) in patients with PR, 51% (95% CI 43-58) in the SD group after first-line therapy and 63% (95% CI: 66-72) in patients with CR after initial treatment (p-value <0.001). The 5-year SAR for those patients with PREF who developed HT was 21% (95% CI: 12-31), clearly diminished when compared with those patients with PREF who did not experience HT (38% [95% CI: 31-44]) (p-value = 0.001).

Interpretation: Patients with PREF FL have a dismal outcome and an associated very high rate of HT that further worsens their poor prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.08.005DOI Listing
September 2021

Obinutuzumab-atezolizumab-lenalidomide for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma: final analysis of a Phase Ib/II trial.

Blood Cancer J 2021 Aug 20;11(8):147. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Haematology Department, Université Claude Bernard de Lyon, Lyon University Hospital, Pierre Benite, France.

We evaluated the triplet regimen obinutuzumab-atezolizumab-lenalidomide (G-atezo-len) for patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) follicular lymphoma (FL) in an open-label, multicenter phase Ib/II study (BO29562; NCT02631577). An initial 3 + 3 dose-escalation phase to define the recommended phase II dose of lenalidomide was followed by an expansion phase with G-atezo-len induction and maintenance. At final analysis, 38 patients (lenalidomide 15 mg, n = 4; 20 mg, n = 34) had completed the trial. Complete response rate for the efficacy population (lenalidomide 20 mg, n = 32) at end-of-induction was 71.9% (66.7% in double-refractory patients [refractory to rituximab and alkylator] [n = 12]; 50.0% in patients with progressive disease within 24 months of first-line therapy [n = 12]). The 36-month progression-free survival rate was 68.4%. All treated patients had ≥1 adverse event (AE; grade 3-5 AE, 32 patients [84%]; serious AE, 18 patients [47%]; AEs leading to discontinuation of any study drug, 11 patients [29%]). There were 2 fatal AEs (1 merkel carcinoma, 1 sarcomatoid carcinoma; both unrelated to any study drug). The G-atezo-len regimen is effective and tolerable in patients with R/R FL. AEs were consistent with the known safety profile of the individual drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-021-00539-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8379261PMC
August 2021

High-grade Follicular Lymphomas Exhibit Clinicopathologic, Cytogenetic, and Molecular Diversity Extending Beyond Grades 3A and 3B.

Am J Surg Pathol 2021 10;45(10):1324-1336

Pathology and Tumor Immunology, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille (CRCM), Inserm U1068, CNRS UMR7258, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille.

Although follicular lymphoma (FL) is usually graded as FL1-2, FL3A, and FL3B, some borderline cases can be observed and led us to investigate the clinicopathologic diversity of grade 3 FL (FL3). Among 2449 FL patients enrolled in Lymphoma Study Association (LYSA) trials, 1921 cases with sufficient material underwent a central pathologic review. The resulting diagnoses comprised 89.6% FL1-2 (n=1723), 7.2% FL3A (n=138), and 0.5% purely follicular FL3B (n=9). The remaining 51 unclassifiable cases (2.7%) exhibited high-grade features but did not meet WHO criteria for either FL3A or FL3B; and were considered as "unconventional" high-grade FL (FL3U). FL3U morphological pattern consisted of nodular proliferation of large cleaved cells or small-sized to medium-sized blast cells. Compared with FL3A, FL3U exhibited higher MUM1 and Ki67 expression, less BCL2 breaks and more BCL6 rearrangements, together with a higher number of cases without any BCL2, BCL6 or MYC rearrangement. FL3U harbored less frequent mutations in BCL2, KMT2D, KMT2B, and CREBBP than FL3A. MYC and BCL2 were less frequently mutated in FL3U than FL3B. Rituximab cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone treated FL3U patients had a worse survival than FL1-2 patients with similar follicular lymphoma international prognostic index and treatment. These results suggest that high-grade FLs encompass a heterogeneous spectrum of tumors with variable morphology and genomic alterations, including FL3U cases that do not strictly fit WHO criteria for either FL3A or FL3B, and display a worse outcome than FL1-2. The distinction of FL3U may be useful to allow a better comprehension of high-grade FLs and to design clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAS.0000000000001726DOI Listing
October 2021

Epigenetic focus on angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma: pathogenesis and treatment.

Curr Opin Oncol 2021 Sep;33(5):400-405

University Lille, CHU Lille, ULR 7365 - GRITA - Groupe de Recherche sur les formes Injectables et les Technologies Associées, Lille, France.

Purpose Of Review: Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) is a frequent peripheral T-cell lymphoma affecting elderly patients with a poor outcome when treated with conventional chemotherapy. Molecular studies revealed a homogenous mutational landscape gathering anomalies in genes regulating the DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation and anomalies in T-cell signalling.

Recent Findings: Recent studies indicate that AITL emerges from a TET2 and/or DNMT3A mutated clonal haematopoiesis. This clonal haematopoiesis bearing mutations altering DNA hydroxymethylation can explain the observed coexistence of AITL with myeloid neoplasms. In addition, AITL development requires AITL-specific mutations, such as the RHOAG17V mutations. Combination of TET2 and RHOAG17V alterations results in the development of AITL-like disease in mouse models. The impact of the presence of these mutations on patient outcome seems limited and new biological factor predicting treatment response and survival remains to be determined. At the therapeutic level, therapies targeting epigenetic changes, such as histone deacetylase inhibitors and the hypomethylating 5-azacytidine agent, could have efficacy in this disease and gave promising results. Recent progress in mouse model development should allow development of new treatments.

Summary: Epigenetic changes are frequent in AITL and could be a promising target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CCO.0000000000000773DOI Listing
September 2021

Gonadal Function Recovery in Patients With Advanced Hodgkin Lymphoma Treated With a PET-Adapted Regimen: Prospective Analysis of a Randomized Phase III Trial (AHL2011).

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jun 22:JCO2100068. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Department of Haematology, University Hospital F Mitterrand and Inserm UMR1231, Dijon, France.

Purpose: The prospective, randomized AHL2011 trial demonstrated that the use of the doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine regimen (ABVD) after two cycles of bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (BEACOPP) in early responders on the basis of a positron emission tomography (PET)-driven strategy was safe and minimized toxicity compared with standard 6 BEACOPP cycles. This substudy investigated the benefit of this strategy in gonadal function and fertility in patients under 45 years old.

Methods: Ovarian function was assessed by serum measurement of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, and anti-müllerian hormone in women, and semen analysis, FSH, and testosterone levels were used to evaluate testicular function in men at baseline, end of treatment, and during 5 years of follow-up.

Results: A total of 145 women and 424 men, enrolled between May 19, 2011, and April 29, 2014, were included. The risk of premature ovarian insufficiency (FSH > 24 IU/L) and of having a low ovarian reserve (anti-müllerian hormone < 0.5 ng/mL) was reduced after treatment in the PET-driven group (odds ratio [OR], 0.20; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.50; = .001 and OR, 0.15; 95% CI, 0.04 to 0.56, = .005, respectively). Both parameters were correlated with age and dose of alkylating agents. However, no significant differences were observed in terms of pregnancy rates. Men in the PET-driven group had a higher recovery rate of sperm parameters after treatment compared with the standard BEACOPP group, as well as a lower risk of severe testicular damage (OR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.13 to 0.5; < .0001) and a higher likelihood of achieving pregnancy (OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 1.4 to 9.3; = .004).

Conclusion: Although both treatments affected ovarian reserve and spermatogenesis, the PET-driven strategy decreased the risk of gonadal dysfunction and infertility in advanced Hodgkin lymphoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.00068DOI Listing
June 2021

Development of a Questionnaire for the Search for Occupational Causes in Patients with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: The RHELYPRO Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 04 11;18(8). Epub 2021 Apr 11.

Service des Pathologies Professionnelles et de l'Environnement, CHI Créteil, F-94010 Créteil, France.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), multiple myeloma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia are possibly related to environmental and/or occupational exposure. The primary objective of this study was to develop a questionnaire for screening patients with these blood disorders who might benefit from a specialized consultation for possible recognition of the disease as an occupational disease. The study included 205 subjects (male gender, 67.3%; mean age, 60 years; NHL, 78.5%). The questionnaire performed very satisfactorily in identifying the exposures most frequently retained by experts for their potential involvement in the occurrence of NHL. Its sensitivity and specificity in relation to the final expertise were 96% and 96% for trichloroethylene, 85% and 82% for benzene, 78% and 87% for solvents other than trichloroethylene and dichloromethane, 87% and 95% for pesticides, respectively. Overall, 15% of the subjects were invited to ask National Social Insurance for compensation as occupational disease. These declarations concerned exposure to pesticides (64%), solvents (trichloroethylene: 29%; benzene: 18%; other than chlorinated solvents: 18%) and sometimes multiple exposures. In conclusion, this questionnaire appears as a useful tool to identify NHL patients for a specialized consultation, in order to ask for compensation for occupational disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8068898PMC
April 2021

Lenalidomide triggers T-cell effector functions in vivo in patients with follicular lymphoma.

Blood Adv 2021 04;5(8):2063-2074

UMR 1236, Univ Rennes, INSERM, Etablissement Français du Sang Bretagne, Rennes, France.

The immunomodulatory drug lenalidomide is used in patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) with the aim of stimulating T-cell antitumor immune response. However, little is known about the effects of lenalidomide on T-cell biology in vivo in patients with FL. We thus undertook an extensive longitudinal immunologic study, including phenotypic, transcriptomic, and functional analyses, on 44 first-line and 27 relapsed/refractory patients enrolled in the GALEN trial (Obinutuzumab Combined With Lenalidomide for Relapsed or Refractory Follicular B-Cell Lymphoma) to test the efficacy of lenalidomide and obinutuzumab combination in patients with FL. Lenalidomide rapidly and transiently induced an activated T-cell phenotype, including HLA-DR, Tim-3, CD137, and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) upregulation. Furthermore, sequential RNA-sequencing of sorted PD-1+ and PD-1- T-cell subsets revealed that lenalidomide triggered a strong enrichment for several gene signatures related to effector memory T-cell features, including proliferation, antigen receptor signaling, and immune synapse restoration; all were validated at the phenotypic level and with ex vivo functional assays. Correlative analyses pinpointed a negative clinical impact of high effector T-cell and regulatory T-cell percentages before and during treatment. Our findings bring new insight in lenalidomide mechanisms of action at work in vivo and will fuel a new rationale for the design of combination therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003774DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8095143PMC
April 2021

Outcomes of older patients with follicular lymphoma using individual data from 5922 patients in 18 randomized controlled trials.

Blood Adv 2021 03;5(6):1737-1745

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

Limited data exist to describe the clinical features and outcomes for elderly patients with follicular lymphoma (FL). The Follicular Lymphoma Analysis of Surrogacy Hypothesis (FLASH) group performed a prospectively planned pooled analysis of individual patient data from first-line randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and examined associations between age (≤70 vs >70 years), clinical characteristics, and FL outcomes. We identified 18 multicenter clinical RCTs in the FLASH database that enrolled elderly patients (>70 years). Primary end points were early disease outcomes, CR24 and CR30, and progression-free survival (PFS) at 24 months (PFS24). Secondary end points were PFS and overall survival (OS). We identified 5922 previously untreated FL patients from 18 RCTs. Patients age >70 years (vs ≤70 years) more commonly had elevated lactate dehydrogenase, hemoglobin <12 g/dL, ECOG PS ≥2, and elevated β2-microglobulin. Median follow-up was 5.6 years. Patients >70 years did not differ from patients ≤70 years in rates of CR24, CR30, or PFS24. With a median OS of 14.6 years for all patients, median OS was 7.4 and 15.7 years for patients >70 and ≤70 years of age, respectively (hazard ratio = 2.35; 95% confidence interval = 2.03-2.73; P < .001). Age >70 years was a significant predictor of OS and PFS due to higher rates of death without progression, but not PFS24, CR24, or CR30. FL patients >70 years treated on trials have similar early disease outcomes to younger patients. There is no disease-specific outcome difference between age groups. Age alone should not disqualify patients from standard treatments or RCTs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7993094PMC
March 2021

Glofitamab, a Novel, Bivalent CD20-Targeting T-Cell-Engaging Bispecific Antibody, Induces Durable Complete Remissions in Relapsed or Refractory B-Cell Lymphoma: A Phase I Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jun 19;39(18):1959-1970. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Purpose: Glofitamab is a T-cell-engaging bispecific antibody possessing a novel 2:1 structure with bivalency for CD20 on B cells and monovalency for CD3 on T cells. This phase I study evaluated glofitamab in relapsed or refractory (R/R) B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). Data for single-agent glofitamab, with obinutuzumab pretreatment () to reduce toxicity, are presented.

Methods: Seven days before the first dose of glofitamab (0.005-30 mg), all patients received 1,000 mg . Dose-escalation steps were determined using a Bayesian continuous reassessment method with overdose control. Primary end points were safety, pharmacokinetics, and the maximum tolerated dose of glofitamab.

Results: Following initial single-patient cohorts, 171 patients were treated within conventional multipatient cohorts and received at least one dose of glofitamab. This trial included heavily pretreated patients with R/R B-NHL; most were refractory to prior therapy (155; 90.6%) and had received a median of three prior therapies. One hundred and twenty-seven patients (74.3%) had diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, transformed follicular lymphoma, or other aggressive histology, and the remainder had indolent lymphoma subtypes. Five (2.9%) patients withdrew from treatment because of adverse events. Cytokine release syndrome occurred in 86 of 171 (50.3%) patients (grade 3 or 4: 3.5%); two (1.2%) patients experienced grade 3, transient immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome-like symptoms. The overall response rate was 53.8% (complete response [CR], 36.8%) among all doses and 65.7% (CR, 57.1%) in those dosed at the recommended phase II dose. Of 63 patients with CR, 53 (84.1%) have ongoing CR with a maximum of 27.4 months observation.

Conclusion: In patients with predominantly refractory, aggressive B-NHL, glofitamab showed favorable activity with frequent and durable CRs and a predictable and manageable safety profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.03175DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8210975PMC
June 2021

Potential role of tocilizumab in severe gastrointestinal barrier damage after CAR T-cell therapy.

J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2021 Apr 27;54(2):327-330. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Univ. Lille, Inserm U1285, CNRS UMR 8576 - UGSF - Unité de Glycobiologie Structurale et Fonctionnelle, F-59000 Lille, France; CHU Lille, Service de Parasitologie Mycologie, F-59037 Lille, France.

We report a septicemia and disseminated candidiasis due to delayed gastrointestinal mucosae repair in a patient treated with tocilizumab after anti-CD19 CAR T-cell therapy. Tocilizumab could have inhibited intestinal tissue repair and furthered bacteria translocation leading to the invasion of intestinal mucosa by yeasts as IL-6 is known to be involved in mucosal wound healing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmii.2021.02.006DOI Listing
April 2021

A French multicentric prospective prognostic cohort with epidemiological, clinical, biological and treatment information to improve knowledge on lymphoma patients: study protocol of the "REal world dAta in LYmphoma and survival in adults" (REALYSA) cohort.

BMC Public Health 2021 03 2;21(1):432. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Inserm U1219 - EPICENE team, Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.

Background: Age-adjusted lymphoma incidence rates continue to rise in France since the early 80's, although rates have slowed since 2010 and vary across subtypes. Recent improvements in patient survival in major lymphoma subtypes at population level raise new questions about patient outcomes (i.e. quality of life, long-term sequelae). Epidemiological studies have investigated factors related to lymphoma risk, but few have addressed the extent to which socioeconomic status, social institutional context (i.e. healthcare system), social relationships, environmental context (exposures), individual behaviours (lifestyle) or genetic determinants influence lymphoma outcomes, especially in the general population. Moreover, the knowledge of the disease behaviour mainly obtained from clinical trials data is partly biased because of patient selection.

Methods: The REALYSA ("REal world dAta in LYmphoma and Survival in Adults") study is a real-life multicentric cohort set up in French areas covered by population-based cancer registries to study the prognostic value of epidemiological, clinical and biological factors with a prospective 9-year follow-up. We aim to include 6000 patients over 4 to 5 years. Adult patients without lymphoma history and newly diagnosed with one of the following 7 lymphoma subtypes (diffuse large B-cell, follicular, marginal zone, mantle cell, Burkitt, Hodgkin, mature T-cell) are invited to participate during a medical consultation with their hematologist. Exclusion criteria are: having already received anti-lymphoma treatment (except pre-phase) and having a documented HIV infection. Patients are treated according to the standard practice in their center. Clinical data, including treatment received, are extracted from patients' medical records. Patients' risk factors exposures and other epidemiological data are obtained at baseline by filling out a questionnaire during an interview led by a clinical research assistant. Biological samples are collected at baseline and during treatment. A virtual tumor biobank is constituted for baseline tumor samples. Follow-up data, both clinical and epidemiological, are collected every 6 months in the first 3 years and every year thereafter.

Discussion: This cohort constitutes an innovative platform for clinical, biological, epidemiological and socio-economic research projects and provides an opportunity to improve knowledge on factors associated to outcome of lymphoma patients in real life.

Trial Registration: 2018-A01332-53, ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03869619 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10433-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7927409PMC
March 2021

BH3 profiling identifies ruxolitinib as a promising partner for venetoclax to treat T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia.

Blood 2021 Jun;137(25):3495-3506

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA.

Conventional therapies for patients with T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), such as cytotoxic chemotherapy and alemtuzumab, have limited efficacy and considerable toxicity. Several novel agent classes have demonstrated preclinical activity in T-PLL, including inhibitors of the JAK/STAT and T-cell receptor pathways, as well as histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. Recently, the BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax also showed some clinical activity in T-PLL. We sought to characterize functional apoptotic dependencies in T-PLL to identify a novel combination therapy in this disease. Twenty-four samples from patients with primary T-PLL were studied by using BH3 profiling, a functional assay to assess the propensity of a cell to undergo apoptosis (priming) and the relative dependence of a cell on different antiapoptotic proteins. Primary T-PLL cells had a relatively low level of priming for apoptosis and predominantly depended on BCL-2 and MCL-1 proteins for survival. Selective pharmacologic inhibition of BCL-2 or MCL-1 induced cell death in primary T-PLL cells. Targeting the JAK/STAT pathway with the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib or HDAC with belinostat both independently increased dependence on BCL-2 but not MCL-1, thereby sensitizing T-PLL cells to venetoclax. Based on these results, we treated 2 patients with refractory T-PLL with a combination of venetoclax and ruxolitinib. We observed a deep response in JAK3-mutated T-PLL and a stabilization of the nonmutated disease. Our functional, precision-medicine-based approach identified inhibitors of HDAC and the JAK/STAT pathway as promising combination partners for venetoclax, warranting a clinical exploration of such combinations in T-PLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020007303DOI Listing
June 2021

A phase 2 study of venetoclax plus R-CHOP as first-line treatment for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Blood 2021 02;137(5):600-609

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

The phase 2 CAVALLI (NCT02055820) study assessed efficacy and safety of venetoclax, a selective B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) inhibitor, with rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) in first-line (1L) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), including patients demonstrating Bcl-2 protein overexpression by immunohistochemistry (Bcl-2 IHC+). Eligible patients were ≥18 years of age and had previously untreated DLBCL, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≤2, and International Prognostic Index 2 to 5. Venetoclax 800 mg (days 4-10, cycle 1; days 1-10, cycles 2-8) was administered with rituximab (8 cycles) and cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (6-8 cycles) in 21-day cycles. Primary end points were safety, tolerability, and research_plete response (CR) at end of treatment (EOT). Secondary end points were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival. Comparative analyses used covariate-adjusted R-CHOP controls from the GOYA/BO21005 study, an appropriate contemporary benchmark for safety and efficacy. Safety and efficacy analyses included 206 patients. CR rate at EOT was 69% in the overall population and was maintained across Bcl-2 IHC+ subgroups. With a median follow-up of 32.2 months, trends were observed for improved investigator-assessed PFS for venetoclax plus R-CHOP in the overall population (hazard ratio [HR], 0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43-0.87) and Bcl-2 IHC+ subgroups (HR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.34-0.89) vs R-CHOP. Despite a higher incidence of grade 3/4 hematologic adverse events (86%), related mortality was not increased (2%). Chemotherapy dose intensity was similar in CAVALLI vs GOYA. The addition of venetoclax to R-CHOP in 1L DLBCL demonstrates increased, but manageable, myelosuppression and the potential of improved efficacy, particularly in high-risk Bcl-2 IHC+ patient subgroups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020006578DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7869186PMC
February 2021

[Eligibility of patients for CAR T-cell: Expert opinion-based collaborative work by the SFGM-TC].

Bull Cancer 2021 Jul-Aug;108(7-8):725-729. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

CHU de Lille, université Lille, Inserm U1286, Infinite, Lille, France.

The chimeric antigen receptor T-cells are a new class of anticancer treatment consisting in genetically modifying autologous or allogenic T-cells to make express a CAR directed against a membrane tumor antigen. In Europe, tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) has a marketing authorization for the treatment of relapsed/refractory (R/R) B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children and young adults and of R/R diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The marketing authorization for axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta) is the treatment of DLBCL and primary R/R mediastinal B-cell lymphoma. The two products are autologous T-cells directed against CD19. This collaborative work, part of a series of expert opinion-based work, aims to give practical advice to help centers in selection of patients for commercially available CAR T-cell treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bulcan.2020.10.017DOI Listing
July 2021

First-line treatment of double-hit and triple-hit lymphomas: Survival and tolerance data from a retrospective multicenter French study.

Am J Hematol 2021 03 29;96(3):302-311. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France.

Historically, double or triple hit lymphoma (DHL and THL) have poor outcomes with conventional chemotherapy, but there is currently no guideline. We report the French experience in managing DHL and THL in first line using collective data on both survival and tolerance. All consecutive patients with newly diagnosis of large B-cell lymphoma with MYC, BCL2, and/or BCL6 rearrangements, as determined by FISH between January 2013 and April 2019 were included. Based on the eligibility criteria, 160 patients were selected among the 184 patients identified. With a median follow-up of 32 months, 2- and 4-year progression free survival (PFS) rates were 40% and 28% with R-CHOP compared with 57% and 52% with intensive chemotherapy (P = .063). There was no difference in overall survival (OS). For advanced stages, PFS was significantly longer with intensive chemotherapy than with R-CHOP (P = .029). There was no impact of autologous stem cell transplantation among patient in remission. For patients with central nervous system (CNS) involvement, the 2-year PFS and OS rate was 21% and 39%, vs 57% and 75% without CNS disease (P = .007 and P < .001). By multivariate analysis, elevated IPI score and CNS disease were strongly and independently associated with a poorer survival, whereas treatment was not significantly associated with OS. This is the largest series reporting the treatment of DHL and THL in Europe. The PFS was significantly longer with an intensive regimen for advanced stage, but no difference in OS, supporting the need for a prospective randomized trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.26068DOI Listing
March 2021

Durable ibrutinib responses in relapsed/refractory marginal zone lymphoma: long-term follow-up and biomarker analysis.

Blood Adv 2020 11;4(22):5773-5784

City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA.

Advanced marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is an incurable B-cell malignancy dependent on B-cell receptor signaling. The phase 2 PCYC-1121 study demonstrated the safety and efficacy of single-agent ibrutinib 560 mg/d in 63 patients with relapsed/refractory MZL treated with prior rituximab (RTX) or rituximab-based chemoimmunotherapy (RTX-CIT). We report the final analysis of PCYC-1121 with median follow-up of 33.1 months (range: 1.4-44.6). Overall response rate (ORR) was 58%; median duration of response (DOR) was 27.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 12.1 to not estimable [NE]); median progression-free survival (PFS) was 15.7 months (95% CI: 12.2-30.4); and median overall survival (OS) was not reached (95% CI: NE to NE). Patients with prior RTX treatment had better outcomes (ORR: 81%; median DOR: not reached [95% CI: 12.2 to NE]; median PFS: 30.4 months [95% CI: 22.1 to NE]; median OS: not reached [95% CI: 30.3 to NE]) vs those with prior RTX-CIT treatment (ORR: 51%; DOR: 12.4 months [95% CI: 2.8 to NE]; PFS: 13.8 months [95% CI: 8.3-22.5]; OS: not reached [95% CI: NE to NE]). ORRs were 63%, 47%, and 62% for extranodal, nodal, and splenic subtypes, respectively. With up to 45 months of ibrutinib treatment, the safety profile remained consistent with prior reports. The most common grade ≥3 event was anemia (16%). Exploratory biomarker analysis showed NF-κB pathway gene mutations correlated with outcomes. Final analysis of PCYC-1121 demonstrated long-term safety and efficacy of ibrutinib in patients with relapsed/refractory MZL, regardless of prior treatment or MZL subtype. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01980628.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7686907PMC
November 2020

Obinutuzumab vs rituximab for advanced DLBCL: a PET-guided and randomized phase 3 study by LYSA.

Blood 2021 Apr;137(17):2307-2320

Department of Hematology, University Hospital F. Mitterrand, Dijon, France; and.

Rituximab plus polychemotherapy is the standard of care in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). GAINED, a randomized phase 3 trial, compared obinutuzumab to rituximab. Transplant-eligible patients (18-60 years) with an untreated age-adjusted International Prognostic Index (aaIPI) score ≥1 DLBCL were randomized (1:1) between obinutuzumab or rituximab and stratified by aaIPI (1; 2-3) and chemotherapy regimen (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, prednisone plus vindesine, bleomycin [ACVBP] or vincristine [CHOP]). Consolidation treatment was determined according to response to interim positron emission tomography (PET). Responders after cycle 2 and 4 (PET2-/PET4-) received immunochemotherapy. Responders after only cycle 4 (PET2+/4-) received transplantation. The primary objective was an 8% improvement (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.73; 80% power; α risk, 2.5%; 1-sided) in 2-year event-free survival (EFS) in the obinutuzumab arm. From September 2012, 670 patients were enrolled (obinutuzumab, n = 336; rituximab, n = 334). A total of 383 (57.2%) were aaIPI 2-3, 339 (50.6%) received CHOP. Median follow-up was 38.7 months. The 2-year EFS was similar in both groups (59.8% vs 56.6%; P = .123; HR = 0.88). The 2-year PFS in the whole cohort was 83.1% (95% confidence interval, 80% to 85.8%). PET2-/4- and PET2+/4- had similar 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS): 89.9% vs 83.9% and 94.8% vs 92.8%. The 2-year PFS and OS for PET4+ patients were 62% and 83.1%. Grade 3-5 infections were more frequent in the obinutuzumab arm (21% vs 12%). Obinutuzumab is not superior to rituximab in aaIPI ≥1 DLBCL transplant-eligible patients. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01659099.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020008750DOI Listing
April 2021

Ibrutinib, obinutuzumab, and venetoclax in relapsed and untreated patients with mantle cell lymphoma: a phase 1/2 trial.

Blood 2021 02;137(7):877-887

Peninsula Medical School, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, United Kingdom; and.

Ibrutinib, obinutuzumab, and venetoclax demonstrate synergy in preclinical models of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). OAsIs (NCT02558816), a single-arm multicenter prospective phase 1/2 trial, aimed to determine the maximum tolerated dose of venetoclax in combination with fixed doses of ibrutinib and obinutuzumab, in relapsed MCL patients. At the venetoclax MTD, extension cohorts were opened for relapsed and untreated patients. Safety and efficacy were secondary objectives. Minimal residual disease (MRD) was assessed by allele-specific oligonucleotide quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Between 14 October 2015 and 29 May 2018, 48 patients were enrolled. No dose-limiting toxicity was reported, and venetoclax at 400 mg per day was chosen for extension. Eighteen (75%) relapsed and 8 (53%) untreated patients experienced grade 3/4 adverse events. The complete response rate assessed by positron emission tomography at the end of cycle 6 was 67% in relapsed and 86.6% in untreated patients. MRD clearance for evaluable patients was seen in 71.5% of relapsed (10/14 patients) and 100% of untreated MRD-evaluable patients (n = 12) at the end of 3 cycles. The median follow-up for relapsed patients was 17 months (range, 10-35 months). The 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 69.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 52.9%-91.4%) and 68.6% (95% CI, 49.5%-95.1%) for overall survival. The median follow-up was 14 months (range, 5-19) for untreated patients, the 1-year PFS was 93.3% (95% CI, 81.5%-100%). The combination of obinutuzumab, ibrutinib, and venetoclax is well tolerated and provides high response rates, including at the molecular level, in relapsed and untreated MCL patients. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02558816.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020008727DOI Listing
February 2021

Venetoclax plus bendamustine-rituximab or bendamustine-obinutuzumab in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: final results of a phase 1b study (GO28440).

Haematologica 2020 10 29;Online ahead of print. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Hospices Civils de Lyon, Université de Lyon, Pierre-Bénite, France.

Venetoclax (Ven), an orally administered, potent BCL-2 inhibitor, has demonstrated efficacy in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) in combination with rituximab (R) or obinutuzumab (G). Our aim was to investigate the addition of bendamustine (B) to these Ven-containing regimens in relapsed/refractory (R/R) or first-line (1L) CLL. This multi-arm, non-randomized, open-label, phase 1b study was designed to evaluate the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and safety/tolerability of Ven with BR/BG, with 3+3 dose-escalation followed by safety expansion. Patients received Ven (schedule A) or BR/BG first (schedule B) to compare safety and determine dose/schedule for expansion. Six Ven-BR/-BG cycles were to be administered, then Ven monotherapy until disease progression (R/R) or fixed-duration 1-year treatment (1L). Overall, 33 R/R and 50 1L patients were enrolled. No dose-limiting toxicities were observed (doses 100-400-mg), and the MTD was not reached. Safety was similar between schedules; no tumour lysis syndrome (TLS) occurred during dose-finding. Schedule B and Ven 400-mg were chosen for expansion. The most frequent grade 3-4 toxicity was neutropenia: R/R 64%, 1L Ven-BR 85%, 1L Ven-BG 55%. Grade 3-4 infection rate was: R/R 27%, 1L Ven-BR 0%, 1L Ven-BG 27%. During expansion, one clinical and two laboratory TLS cases occurred. Fewer than half the patients completed six combination therapy cycles with all study drugs; rates of bendamustine discontinuation were high. Overall response rate was 91% in R/R and 100% in 1L patients (16/49 1L patients received Ven for >1 year). In conclusion, addition of bendamustine to Ven-R/-G increased toxicity without apparent efficacy benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2020.261107DOI Listing
October 2020

Controversies in the Treatment of Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma.

Hemasphere 2020 Oct 1;4(5):e461. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

Institute of Hematology "L. e A. Seràgnoli", University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Peripheral T-cell lymphomas are a heterogeneous group of rare diseases with an aggressive behavior and dismal prognosis. Their classification is complex and still evolving, and several biomolecular markers now help refine the prognosis of specific disease entities, although still have limited impact in tailoring the treatment. First-line treatment strategies can cure only a minority of patients and relapsed-refractory disease still represents the major cause of failure. Frontline autologous transplantation may have an impact in the consolidation of response; however, its role is still questioned as far as complete responses obtained after induction chemotherapy are concerned. Newer drugs are now being evaluated in clinical trials, but effective salvage strategies for those who experience treatment failures are lacking. Here we review and discuss the most controversial aspects of diagnosis and treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HS9.0000000000000461DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7469987PMC
October 2020

Tazemetostat for patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma: an open-label, single-arm, multicentre, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 11 6;21(11):1433-1442. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Department of Hematology, Lyon-Sud Hospital, University of Lyon, Pierre-Bénite, France.

Background: Activating mutations of EZH2, an epigenetic regulator, are present in approximately 20% of patients with follicular lymphoma. We investigated the activity and safety of tazemetostat, a first-in-class, oral EZH2 inhibitor, in patients with follicular lymphoma.

Methods: This study was an open-label, single-arm, phase 2 trial done at 38 clinics or hospitals in France, the UK, Australia, Canada, Poland, Italy, Ukraine, Germany, and the USA. Eligible patients were adults (≥18 years) with histologically confirmed follicular lymphoma (grade 1, 2, 3a, or 3b) that had relapsed or was refractory to two or more systemic therapies, had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2, and had sufficient tumour tissue for central testing of EZH2 mutation status. Patients were categorised by EZH2 status: mutant (EZH2) or wild-type (EZH2). Patients received 800 mg of tazemetostat orally twice per day in continuous 28-day cycles. The primary endpoint was objective response rate based on the 2007 International Working Group criteria for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, assessed by an independent radiology committee. Activity and safety analyses were done in patients who received one dose or more of tazemetostat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01897571, and follow-up is ongoing.

Findings: Between July 9, 2015, and May 24, 2019, 99 patients (45 in the EZH2 cohort and 54 in the EZH2 cohort) were enrolled in the study. At data cutoff for the analysis (Aug 9, 2019), the median follow-up was 22·0 months (IQR 12·0-26·7) for the EZH2 cohort and 35·9 months (24·9-40·5) for the EZH2 cohort. The objective response rate was 69% (95% CI 53-82; 31 of 45 patients) in the EZH2 cohort and 35% (23-49; 19 of 54 patients) in the EZH2 Median duration of response was 10·9 months (95% CI 7·2-not estimable [NE]) in the EZH2 cohort and 13·0 months (5·6-NE) in the EZH2 cohort; median progression-free survival was 13·8 months (10·7-22·0) and 11·1 months (3·7-14·6). Among all 99 patients, treatment-related grade 3 or worse adverse events included thrombocytopenia (three [3%]), neutropenia (three [3%]), and anaemia (two [2%]). Serious treatment-related adverse events were reported in four (4%) of 99 patients. There were no treatment-related deaths.

Interpretation: Tazemetostat monotherapy showed clinically meaningful, durable responses and was generally well tolerated in heavily pretreated patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma. Tazemetostat is a novel treatment for patients with follicular lymphoma.

Funding: Epizyme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30441-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8427481PMC
November 2020

Effects of novel Btk and Syk inhibitors on platelet functions alone and in combination in vitro and in vivo.

J Thromb Haemost 2020 12 26;18(12):3336-3351. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Inserm, U1048, Université Toulouse 3, I2MC, Toulouse Cedex 04, France.

Background: Inhibitors of tyrosine kinases downstream of the B-cell receptor, such as Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) or Spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk), used alone or in combination are new therapeutic options in the treatment of B-cell malignancies. A challenge in the development of second-generation Btk inhibitors is to limit their side effects such as the increased bleeding risk. Considering the pivotal role of Syk in immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif mediated platelet signaling, the impact of inhibiting this kinase on platelet functions is also worth analyzing.

Objectives: We investigated the effect of a novel Btk inhibitor, tirabrutinib, and a Syk inhibitor, entospletinib, alone and in combination on platelet signaling and functions in vitro and ex vivo.

Methods: Platelet aggregation, secretion, and signaling responses as well as thrombus growth under flow were analyzed in the presence of the inhibitors alone or in combination in vitro, at clinically relevant doses, and ex vivo in patients treated with these inhibitors in the context of a phase I trial.

Results: Although tirabrutinib alone had modest effects on platelet activation in vitro and ex vivo, entospletinib alone efficiently inhibited washed platelet aggregation in response to collagen. However, entospletinib weakly affected platelet activation in platelet-rich plasma, in whole blood and ex vivo. Importantly, the combination of tirabrutinib and entospletinib induced a significant decrease in platelet response to collagen in vitro and ex vivo correlating with mild bleedings reported in some of the treated patients.

Conclusion: These new results should contribute to improve the safety of these targeted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jth.15098DOI Listing
December 2020

Total immunotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma.

Lancet Haematol 2020 09;7(9):e629-e630

Department of Hematology, Hôpital Claude Huriez, Centre Hospitalier Regional Universitaire, Lille, France; Lille University Hospital, University of Lille, Lille F-59000, France. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30220-9DOI Listing
September 2020

CXCL13 is expressed in various haematological disorders other than angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma.

Pathol Res Pract 2020 08 21;216(8):153004. Epub 2020 May 21.

Univ. Lille, CHU Lille, Institut de Pathologie, Avenue Oscar Lambret, F-59000 Lille, France. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prp.2020.153004DOI Listing
August 2020

Lenalidomide/rituximab induces high molecular response in untreated follicular lymphoma: LYSA ancillary RELEVANCE study.

Blood Adv 2020 08;4(14):3217-3223

Département d'Hématologie, Equipe d'Accueil 7365, CHU Lille, Lille, France.

Complete molecular response (CMR) after first-line immunochemotherapy reflects treatment efficacy and may predict prognosis in patients with follicular lymphoma (FL). RELEVANCE is the first phase 3 trial comparing the chemotherapy-free regimen lenalidomide/rituximab (R2) vs rituximab/chemotherapy (R-Chemo) in previously untreated FL patients (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01650701). The objective of the minimal residual disease (MRD) analysis was to determine the ability of a chemotherapy-free regimen to induce CMR. Of 440 French patients participating in the Lymphoma Study Association (LYSA) RELEVANCE MRD study, all 222 patients with a BIOMED-2-detectable BCL2-JH translocation at diagnosis were analyzed. MRD was quantified by droplet digital polymerase chain reaction with a sensitivity ≤10-4. At week 24 (end of induction treatment), 98% and 78% of patients achieved CMR in peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM), respectively. Achievement of CMR (in PB and/or BM) had a significant impact on progression-free survival (PFS), with 3-year PFS of 84% and 55% for patients with CMR and detectable MRD, respectively (P = .015). CMR at week 24 was reached more frequently in the R2 arm (105/117; 90%) than in the R-Chemo arm (70/90; 77%) (P = .022). The poor prognostic value in terms of PFS for the persistence of molecular disease was observed irrespective of treatment arm (interaction test, P = .31). In agreement with the clinical results of the RELEVANCE trial, our results show that R2 immunomodulatory treatment in first-line FL can achieve high rates of CMR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001955DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7391139PMC
August 2020

Immunomodulatory Agents in Follicular Lymphoma.

Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 2020 08 8;34(4):715-726. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

Univ. Lille, CHU Lille, ULR 7365 - GRITA - Groupe de Recherche Sur les Formes Injectables et les Technologies Associees, Lille F-59000, France. Electronic address:

New treatment strategies in follicular lymphoma (FL) are driven by a deeper understanding of microenvironmental cues supporting lymphomagenesis, chemoresistance, and immuno-escape. These immune-mediated signaling pathways contribute to initial learnings and clinical successes with lenalidomide, the first, oral, non-chemotherapeutic immunomodulatory drug, combined with anti-CD20 antibodies. This combination of lenalidomide with rituximab showed similar efficacy to chemoimmunotherapy (CIT) in first-line patients requiring therapy, and is approved in relapsed/refractory FL. We review the biology supporting the rationale for adequate inhibitory receptor/ligand pathways targeting the tissue immune microenvironment of FL cells, and potential immunomodulating combinations to replace CIT in the near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hoc.2020.02.007DOI Listing
August 2020
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