Publications by authors named "Matthew S Davids"

112 Publications

Matching-adjusted indirect comparisons of safety and efficacy of acalabrutinib versus other targeted therapies in patients with treatment-naïve chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 May 6:1-16. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Haematology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Acalabrutinib is a highly selective, potent, next-generation, covalent Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor with minimal off-target activity. Matching-adjusted indirect comparisons (MAICs) were performed to estimate the safety and efficacy of acalabrutinib compared to other targeted therapies for treatment-naïve patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Individual patient data for acalabrutinib (ELEVATE-TN trial) were matched to aggregate baseline characteristics for comparators. After matching, acalabrutinib (with or without obinutuzumab) showed improved safety outcomes, except for increased risk of neutropenia ( < 0.001) for acalabrutinib plus obinutuzumab versus ibrutinib and increased risk of leukopenia ( < 0.05) for acalabrutinib (with or without obinutuzumab) versus venetoclax plus obinutuzumab. There was no statistically significant difference in progression-free survival between acalabrutinib (with or without obinutuzumab) and any of the comparators. This MAIC demonstrated a favorable safety profile for acalabrutinib-based therapy compared with other targeted therapies in treatment-naïve patients with CLL, without compromising efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2021.1913144DOI Listing
May 2021

Highlights in chronic lymphocytic leukemia from the 62nd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition: commentary.

Authors:
Matthew S Davids

Clin Adv Hematol Oncol 2021 Jan;19 Suppl 4(1):21-23

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

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January 2021

Molecular and cellular features of CTLA-4 blockade for relapsed myeloid malignancies after transplantation.

Blood 2021 Mar 15. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

NCI, Rockville, United States.

Relapsed myeloid disease after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) remains largely incurable. We previously demonstrated the potent activity of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) in this clinical setting with ipilimumab or nivolumab. To define the molecular and cellular pathways by which CTLA-4 blockade with ipilimumab can reinvigorate an effective graft-versus-leukemia (GvL) response, we integrated transcriptomic analysis of leukemic biopsies with immunophenotypic profiling of matched peripheral blood samples collected from patients treated with ipilimumab following HSCT on the ETCTN 9204 trial. Response to ipilimumab was associated with transcriptomic evidence of increased local CD8+ T cell infiltration and activation. Systemically, ipilimumab decreased naïve and increased memory T cell populations and increased expression of markers of T cell activation and co-stimulation such as PD-1, HLA-DR and ICOS, irrespective of response. However, responding patients were characterized by higher turnover of T cell receptor sequences in peripheral blood and showed increased expression of proinflammatory chemokines in plasma that was further amplified by ipilimumab. Altogether, these data highlight the compositional T cell shifts and inflammatory pathways induced by ipilimumab both locally and systemically that associate with successful GvL outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2021010867DOI Listing
March 2021

Pirtobrutinib in relapsed or refractory B-cell malignancies (BRUIN): a phase 1/2 study.

Lancet 2021 Mar;397(10277):892-901

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Covalent Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors are efficacious in multiple B-cell malignancies, but patients discontinue these agents due to resistance and intolerance. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of pirtobrutinib (working name; formerly known as LOXO-305), a highly selective, reversible BTK inhibitor, in these patients.

Methods: Patients with previously treated B-cell malignancies were enrolled in a first-in-human, multicentre, open-label, phase 1/2 trial of the BTK inhibitor pirtobrutinib. The primary endpoint was the maximum tolerated dose (phase 1) and overall response rate (ORR; phase 2). This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03740529.

Findings: 323 patients were treated with pirtobrutinib across seven dose levels (25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, and 300 mg once per day) with linear dose-proportional exposures. No dose-limiting toxicities were observed and the maximum tolerated dose was not reached. The recommended phase 2 dose was 200 mg daily. Adverse events in at least 10% of 323 patients were fatigue (65 [20%]), diarrhoea (55 [17%]), and contusion (42 [13%]). The most common adverse event of grade 3 or higher was neutropenia (32 [10%]). There was no correlation between pirtobrutinib exposure and the frequency of grade 3 treatment-related adverse events. Grade 3 atrial fibrillation or flutter was not observed, and grade 3 haemorrhage was observed in one patient in the setting of mechanical trauma. Five (1%) patients discontinued treatment due to a treatment-related adverse event. In 121 efficacy evaluable patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) treated with a previous covalent BTK inhibitor (median previous lines of treatment 4), the ORR with pirtobrutinib was 62% (95% CI 53-71). The ORR was similar in CLL patients with previous covalent BTK inhibitor resistance (53 [67%] of 79), covalent BTK inhibitor intolerance (22 [52%] of 42), BTK C481-mutant (17 [71%] of 24) and BTK wild-type (43 [66%] of 65) disease. In 52 efficacy evaluable patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) previously treated with covalent BTK inhibitors, the ORR was 52% (95% CI 38-66). Of 117 patients with CLL, SLL, or MCL who responded, all but eight remain progression-free to date.

Interpretation: Pirtobrutinib was safe and active in multiple B-cell malignancies, including patients previously treated with covalent BTK inhibitors. Pirtobrutinib might address a growing unmet need for alternative therapies for these patients.

Funding: Loxo Oncology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00224-5DOI Listing
March 2021

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

Blood 2021 Feb 17. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

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 TCR 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 novel combination therapy in this disease. Twenty-four primary T-PLL patient samples were studied 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 anti-apoptotic proteins. Primary T-PLL cells had a relatively low level of priming for apoptosis, and predominantly depended on BCL-2 and MCL-1 for survival. Selective pharmacologic inhibition of BCL-2 or MCL-1 induced cell death in primary T-PLL cells. Targeting 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 two patients with refractory T-PLL with the combination of venetoclax and ruxolitinib. We observed a deep response in the JAK3-mutated T-PLL and a stabilization of the unmutated disease. Our functional, precision medicine-based approach identified inhibitors of HDAC and the JAK/STAT pathway as promising combination partners for venetoclax, warranting further exploration of such combinations clinically in T-PLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020007303DOI Listing
February 2021

Clinical efficacy and safety of first-line treatments in patients with mantle cell lymphoma: A systematic literature review.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 2021 Feb 28;158:103212. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Neuss, Germany.

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) with a median overall survival (OS) of approximately 3-5 years. Systematic literature reviews (SLRs) identified efficacy and safety data for first-line therapies, reported in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomised interventional studies (NRISs). Nine and 20 independent studies were included in the RCT and NRISs SLRs, respectively. Differences in the regimens and patient outcomes varied according to patient age and suitability for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). In elderly patients ineligible for transplant, OS ranged from 40 months to 69.6 months. In young transplant-eligible patients, OS ranged from 53 months to 152.4 months. Despite the paucity of directly comparable evidence on the efficacy and safety of MCL therapies, these SLRs highlight that MCL remains a difficult NHL subtype to treat, with short survival highlighting the unmet need for newer treatments that improve patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.critrevonc.2020.103212DOI Listing
February 2021

miR-29 modulates CD40 signaling in chronic lymphocytic leukemia by targeting TRAF4: an axis affected by BCR inhibitors.

Blood 2021 May;137(18):2481-2494

Central European Institute of Technology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling and T-cell interactions play a pivotal role in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) pathogenesis and disease aggressiveness. CLL cells can use microRNAs (miRNAs) and their targets to modulate microenvironmental interactions in the lymph node niches. To identify miRNA expression changes in the CLL microenvironment, we performed complex profiling of short noncoding RNAs in this context by comparing CXCR4/CD5 intraclonal cell subpopulations (CXCR4dimCD5bright vs CXCR4brightCD5dim cells). This identified dozens of differentially expressed miRNAs, including several that have previously been shown to modulate BCR signaling (miR-155, miR-150, and miR-22) but also other candidates for a role in microenvironmental interactions. Notably, all 3 miR-29 family members (miR-29a, miR-29b, miR-29c) were consistently down-modulated in the immune niches, and lower miR-29(a/b/c) levels associated with an increased relative responsiveness of CLL cells to BCR ligation and significantly shorter overall survival of CLL patients. We identified tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 4 (TRAF4) as a novel direct target of miR-29s and revealed that higher TRAF4 levels increase CLL responsiveness to CD40 activation and downstream nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling. In CLL, BCR represses miR-29 expression via MYC, allowing for concurrent TRAF4 upregulation and stronger CD40-NF-κB signaling. This regulatory loop is disrupted by BCR inhibitors (bruton tyrosine kinase [BTK] inhibitor ibrutinib or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase [PI3K] inhibitor idelalisib). In summary, we showed for the first time that a miRNA-dependent mechanism acts to activate CD40 signaling/T-cell interactions in a CLL microenvironment and described a novel miR-29-TRAF4-CD40 signaling axis modulated by BCR activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020005627DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610744PMC
May 2021

Idelalisib in indolent NHL - has it finally found its niche?

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 May 19;62(5):1029-1030. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1836369DOI Listing
May 2021

Comparative Efficacy of Acalabrutinib in Frontline Treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis.

Clin Ther 2020 10 6;42(10):1955-1974.e15. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Sorbonne University, Haematology Department, Pitie Salpêtrière Hospital APHP, Paris Cedex, France.

Purpose: The goal of this study was to estimate the relative efficacy of acalabrutinib (monotherapy and in combination with obinutuzumab) compared with standard frontline treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in fludarabine-ineligible patients, through a network meta-analysis (NMA).

Methods: The efficacy of acalabrutinib from ELEVATE-TN (study of Obinutuzumab + Chlorambucil, Acalabrutinib [ACP-196] + Obinutuzumab, and Acalabrutinib in Subjects With Previously Untreated CLL) was compared to bendamustine + rituximab, chlorambucil-based therapy, alemtuzumab, ibrutinib mono/combination therapy and venetoclax + obinutuzumab using data from eight randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Relevant RCTs were identified using a systematic literature review. Two evidence networks were constructed: Network A, composed solely of RCTs that met the inclusion criteria; and Network B, composed of 7 RCTs and a published cross-trial comparison of ibrutinib from RESONATE-2 and chlorambucil + obinutuzumab from iLLUMINATE. Bayesian NMAs were conducted on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) endpoints; results were reported by using hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% credible intervals (CrIs). HRs were considered significant if their CrIs did not cross 1. Treatments were ranked by using the surface under the cumulative ranking area (SUCRA) values. Expert opinion from 2 hematologists was sought to validate results.

Findings: Both networks showed a significant improvement in PFS for acalabrutinib + obinutuzumab over all comparators. Both networks also showed a significant improvement in PFS for acalabrutinib monotherapy versus most comparators, with a significant difference to ibrutinib monotherapy found in Network A but not Network B. Conversely, a significant difference in PFS was observed for acalabrutinib monotherapy versus venetoclax + obinutuzumab in Network B but not Network A. Although OS HRs all favored acalabrutinib, most were not significant and were characterized by wide CrIs, indicating a high level of uncertainty. Acalabrutinib + obinutuzumab ranked highest in terms of PFS improvement (SUCRA values, 98% and 100%) and OS improvement (SUCRA values, 92% and 94%), followed by acalabrutinib monotherapy (SUCRA values for PFS, 88% and 90%; OS, 83% and 87%) in Networks A and B, respectively.

Implications: Acalabrutinib was associated with favorable PFS and OS compared with frontline CLL therapies and ranked highest in treatment efficacy over the other comparators. The NMA was limited by heterogeneity in patient baseline characteristics across trials, variable treatment regimens, and short study follow-up times. Despite these limitations, the NMA provides insights into the relative efficacy of acalabrutinib compared with frontline CLL therapies in the absence of head-to-head clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinthera.2020.08.017DOI Listing
October 2020

Systematic Literature Review of Economic Evaluations, Costs/Resource Use, and Quality of Life in Patients with Mantle Cell Lymphoma.

Pharmacoecon Open 2020 Sep 29. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Neuss, Germany.

Background: Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a rare and aggressive subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. While treatment of patients with MCL and their outcomes are previously published, the availability of heath economics evidence is unclear.

Objective: The aim of this paper was to conduct a comprehensive review of studies relating to economic evaluations, costs and resource use, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with MCL.

Methods: Search strategies were designed to capture studies reporting economic or HRQoL outcomes published in the previous 11 years (2007-2018). The following electronic databases were searched: MEDLINE, Embase, NHS Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED), and EconLit. In addition, we reviewed congress abstracts presented over the previous 2 years (2015 and 2016; where 2017 proceedings had occurred, these were searched instead of 2015). Publications were screened in duplicate by two reviewers and supplementary searches were carried out on health technology assessment websites. Searches were first conducted in October 2017 and updated in March 2018.

Findings: The systematic literature review identified 11 economic evaluations (in 16 publications), seven studies reporting data relating to costs or resource use, and five relating to HRQoL. Four economic evaluations presented results for patients with MCL modelled in the first-line setting, while seven modelled patients in the relapsed/refractory setting. The majority of economic evaluations were conducted using a Markov model with three to five health states. Seven studies assessed resource use and reported adverse events as key drivers of increased costs and resource use. Across the five studies reporting HRQoL, disparate measures were used. Two studies reported improvement in Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lymphoma (FACT-Lym) total scores following treatment and found that clinical response to treatment was associated with improvement in overall HRQoL.

Conclusions And Relevance: The published economic and HRQoL evidence in MCL, although scarce, reveals that the economic and HRQoL burden associated with MCL is substantial. In highlighting this evidence, this analysis underlines a critical unmet need for more effective treatments with improved outcomes in MCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41669-020-00231-wDOI Listing
September 2020

A phase 1b/2 study of duvelisib in combination with FCR (DFCR) for frontline therapy for younger CLL patients.

Leukemia 2021 04 20;35(4):1064-1072. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

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

Fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) is highly effective initial therapy for younger patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL); however, most eventually relapse. Duvelisib is a delta/gamma PI3K inhibitor approved for relapsed/refractory CLL. We conducted an investigator-initiated, phase 1b/2 study of duvelisib + FCR (DFCR) as initial treatment for CLL patients aged ≤65. A standard 3 + 3 design included two dose levels of duvelisib (25 mg qd and 25 mg bid). Duvelisib was given for 1 week, then with standard FCR added for up to six 28-day cycles, then up to 2 years of duvelisib maintenance. Thirty-two patients were enrolled. The phase 2 dose of duvelisib was identified as 25 mg bid. Hematologic toxicity was common, and all-grade non-hematologic toxicities included transaminitis (28%), febrile neutropenia (22%), pneumonia (19%), and colitis (6%). The best overall response rate by ITT was 88% (56% CR/CRi and 32% PR). The best rate of bone marrow undetectable minimal residual disease (BM-uMRD) by ITT was 66%. The rate of CR with BM-uMRD at end of combination treatment (primary endpoint) was 25%. Three-year PFS and OS are 73 and 93%, respectively. DFCR is active as initial therapy of younger CLL patients. Immune-mediated and infectious toxicities occurred and required active management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-01010-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895867PMC
April 2021

Outcomes of COVID-19 in patients with CLL: a multicenter international experience.

Blood 2020 09;136(10):1134-1143

Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

Given advanced age, comorbidities, and immune dysfunction, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients may be at particularly high risk of infection and poor outcomes related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Robust analysis of outcomes for CLL patients, particularly examining effects of baseline characteristics and CLL-directed therapy, is critical to optimally manage CLL patients through this evolving pandemic. CLL patients diagnosed with symptomatic COVID-19 across 43 international centers (n = 198) were included. Hospital admission occurred in 90%. Median age at COVID-19 diagnosis was 70.5 years. Median Cumulative Illness Rating Scale score was 8 (range, 4-32). Thirty-nine percent were treatment naive ("watch and wait"), while 61% had received ≥1 CLL-directed therapy (median, 2; range, 1-8). Ninety patients (45%) were receiving active CLL therapy at COVID-19 diagnosis, most commonly Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors (BTKi's; n = 68/90 [76%]). At a median follow-up of 16 days, the overall case fatality rate was 33%, though 25% remain admitted. Watch-and-wait and treated cohorts had similar rates of admission (89% vs 90%), intensive care unit admission (35% vs 36%), intubation (33% vs 25%), and mortality (37% vs 32%). CLL-directed treatment with BTKi's at COVID-19 diagnosis did not impact survival (case fatality rate, 34% vs 35%), though the BTKi was held during the COVID-19 course for most patients. These data suggest that the subgroup of CLL patients admitted with COVID-19, regardless of disease phase or treatment status, are at high risk of death. Future epidemiologic studies are needed to assess severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection risk, these data should be validated independently, and randomized studies of BTKi's in COVID-19 are needed to provide definitive evidence of benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020006965DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7472711PMC
September 2020

A multicenter phase 1 study of nivolumab for relapsed hematologic malignancies after allogeneic transplantation.

Blood 2020 06;135(24):2182-2191

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

Programmed cell death-1 (PD-1)/programmed death ligand-1 blockade may potentially augment graft-vs-tumor effects following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT), but retrospective studies of anti-PD-1 therapy reported substantial toxicity from graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD). Here, we report the results of a prospective clinical trial of PD-1 blockade for relapsed hematologic malignancies (HMs) after alloHCT (NCT01822509). The primary objective in this phase 1 multicenter, investigator-initiated study was to determine maximum tolerated dose and safety. Secondary objectives were to assess efficacy and immunologic activity. Patients with relapsed HMs following alloHCT were eligible. Nivolumab was administered every 2 weeks until progression or unacceptable toxicity, starting with a 1-mg/kg cohort, with planned deescalation based on toxicity to a 0.5-mg/kg cohort. Twenty-eight patients were treated (n = 19 myeloid, n = 9 lymphoid). Median age was 57 years (range 27-76), and median time from alloHCT to enrollment was 21 months (range 5.6-108.5). Two of 6 patients treated at 1 mg/kg experienced dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) from immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Twenty-two patients were treated at 0.5 mg/kg, and 4 DLTs occurred, including 2 irAEs and 2 with fatal GVHD. The overall response rate in efficacy-evaluable patients was 32% (8/25). With a median follow-up of 11 months, the 1-year progression-free survival and overall survival were 23% and 56%, respectively. In this first prospective clinical trial of an anti-PD-1 antibody for post-alloHCT relapse, GVHD and irAEs occurred, requiring dose deescalation, with only modest antitumor activity. Further studies of anti-PD-1 therapy post-alloHCT may require specific toxicity mitigation strategies. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01822509.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019004710DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7290092PMC
June 2020

Budget Impact of 12-Month Fixed Treatment Duration Venetoclax in Combination with Obinutuzumab in Previously Untreated Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Patients in the United States.

Pharmacoeconomics 2020 09;38(9):941-951

Medicus Economics, LLC, Milton, MA, USA.

Objectives: This study aimed to assess the total cost of care (TCC) and budget impact of introducing 12-month fixed duration venetoclax + obinutuzumab (VEN+G) as first-line treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) from the perspective of a US health plan with 1,000,000 (1M) members.

Methods: The 3-year model included the following comparators: fludarabine + cyclophosphamide + rituximab (FCR), bendamustine + rituximab (BR), obinutuzumab + chlorambucil (GClb), ibrutinib (Ibr), and Ibr+Rituximab/obinutuzumab [Ibr+R/Ibr+G]). TCC included US-specific costs associated with treatment (i.e., drug, administration, and wastage), adverse events, routine care, and monitoring. Dosing and safety data were drawn from clinical trials and US package inserts. Budget impact outcomes were presented on an absolute and per-member per-month (PMPM) basis. Sensitivity analyses explored uncertainty in influential parameters, including scenarios testing the duration of treat-to-progression agents.

Results: Over the 3-year time horizon, introducing VEN+G in a 1M-member health plan resulted in total cost savings of $1,550,663 (PMPM - $0.04), compared to a scenario without VEN+G. The fixed 12-month duration of VEN+G contributed to this cost saving by reducing cumulative treatment costs compared with Ibr-based regimens. By year 3, the cumulative difference in TCC of VEN+G compared with Ibr, Ibr+G, and Ibr+R amounted to - $300,942, - $367,001, and - $369,784, respectively. Extensive sensitivity analyses supported the base case findings.

Conclusions: Introducing VEN+G among first-line CLL treatments to a US health plan resulted in cost savings compared to a plan with chemoimmunotherapies and Ibr-based therapies only. Economic benefits of VEN+G, a novel agent with fixed treatment duration, coupled with proven clinical benefits should help inform formulary adoption decisions and treatment recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40273-020-00919-1DOI Listing
September 2020

BTK Inhibitors in Cancer Patients with COVID-19: "The Winner Will be the One Who Controls That Chaos" (Napoleon Bonaparte).

Clin Cancer Res 2020 07 28;26(14):3514-3516. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

As the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic spreads and the number of Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor (BTKi)-treated COVID-19-affected patients grows, we must consider the pros and cons of BTKi discontinuation for our patients. In favor of BTKi continuation, BTK plays an active role in macrophage polarization. By modulating key transcription factors, BTK may regulate macrophage polarization downstream of classic M1 and M2 polarizing stimuli and mitigate the hyperinflammatory state associated with COVID-19. In favor of BTKi discontinuation, we note a potentially increased risk of secondary infections and impaired humoral immunity. We hypothesize that the potential benefit of blunting a hyperinflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 through attenuation of M1 polarization outweighs the potential risk of impaired humoral immunity, not to mention the risk of rapid progression of B-cell malignancy following BTKi interruption. On the basis of this, we suggest continuing BTKi in patients with COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-1427DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7367762PMC
July 2020

Acalabrutinib for the initial treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Authors:
Matthew S Davids

Lancet 2020 04;395(10232):1234-1236

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Medical Oncology, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30372-XDOI Listing
April 2020

Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia and institutional prophylaxis practices in CLL patients treated with BTK inhibitors.

Blood Adv 2020 04;4(7):1458-1463

Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.

Opportunistic infections (OIs), such as Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP), have been reported in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients treated with ibrutinib, and are an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Currently, there are no international consensus guidelines regarding the use of antimicrobial prophylaxis for OIs, and in particular PJP, in CLL patients treated with Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors (BTKi's). We evaluated the frequency of PJP in CLL patients at our institution who were treated with BTKi's, and assessed the impact of prophylaxis on reducing the risk of PJP. We identified 217 patients treated with BTKi's, consisting of 3 cohorts: 143 patients on either BTKi monotherapy with ibrutinib or acalabrutinib, 17 patients receiving ibrutinib combination therapy with umbralisib as part of a clinical trial, and 57 patients receiving ibrutinib in combination with standard chemotherapy, also as part of a clinical trial. Forty-one percent of patients on BTKi monotherapy received prophylaxis, which was given at the discretion of the treating physician. The prevalence of PJP in all patients not on prophylaxis was 3.4% (3 of 87), and, specifically in BTKi-monotherapy patients not on prophylaxis, the PJP prevalence was 2.4% (2 of 85). PJP prophylaxis was effective, as there were no cases of PJP in patients on prophylaxis (0 of 130). The relatively low prevalence of PJP in our study population suggests that routine prophylaxis may not be indicated in CLL patients on BTKi therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001678DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7160295PMC
April 2020

The Connect CLL Registry: final analysis of 1494 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia across 199 US sites.

Blood Adv 2020 04;4(7):1407-1418

Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, US Oncology, Eugene, OR.

Optimal treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) remains unclear. The Connect CLL Registry, a United States-based multicenter prospective observational cohort study, enrolled 1494 patients between 2010 and 2014 from predominantly community-based settings. Patients were grouped by line of therapy (LOT) at enrollment. With a median follow-up of 46.6 months (range, 0-63.0 months), median overall survival (OS) was not reached in LOT1, 63.0 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 46.0-63.0 months) in LOT2, and 38.0 months (95% CI, 33.0-47.0 months) in LOT≥3. Bendamustine and rituximab (BR; 33.5%); fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR; 21.4%); and rituximab monotherapy (18.5%) were the most common regimens across LOTs. Median event-free survival (EFS) was similar in patients treated with BR (59.0 months) and FCR (55.0 months) in LOT1; median OS was not reached. In multivariable analysis, BR or FCR vs other treatments in LOT1 was associated with improved EFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.60; P < .0001) and OS (0.67; P = .0162). Using the Kaplan-Meier product limit, ibrutinib vs other treatments improved OS in LOT2 (HR, 0.279; P = .009), LOT3 (0.441; P = .011), and LOT≥4 (0.578; P = .043). Prognostic modeling of death at 2 years postenrollment identified 3 risk groups: low (mortality rate, 6.2%), medium (14.5%), and high (27.4%). The most frequent adverse events across LOTs were pneumonia (11.6%) and febrile neutropenia (6.2%). These data suggest that advantages of LOT1 FCR over BR seen in clinical trials may not translate to community practice, whereas receiving novel LOT2 agents improved outcomes. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01081015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019001145DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7160291PMC
April 2020

Small molecules, big impact: 20 years of targeted therapy in oncology.

Lancet 2020 03;395(10229):1078-1088

Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Electronic address:

The identification of molecular targets and the growing knowledge of their cellular functions have led to the development of small molecule inhibitors as a major therapeutic class for cancer treatment. Both multitargeted and highly selective kinase inhibitors are used for the treatment of advanced treatment-resistant cancers, and many have also achieved regulatory approval for early clinical settings as adjuvant therapies or as first-line options for recurrent or metastatic disease. Lessons learned from the development of these agents can accelerate the development of next-generation inhibitors to optimise the therapeutic index, overcome drug resistance, and establish combination therapies. The future of small molecule inhibitors is promising as there is the potential to investigate novel difficult-to-drug targets, to apply predictive non-clinical models to select promising drug candidates for human evaluation, and to use dynamic clinical trial interventions with liquid biopsies to deliver precision medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30164-1DOI Listing
March 2020

Systematic literature review of the global burden of illness of mantle cell lymphoma.

Curr Med Res Opin 2020 05 31;36(5):843-852. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Haematology, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), a rare and aggressive disease, accounts for approximately 5% of all B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Evidence on the burden of this disease, for patients and healthcare providers, is scarce. Four systematic literature reviews were developed to identify epidemiological, real-world clinical, economic and humanistic burden data on patients with MCL. Electronic databases searched included MEDLINE and Embase, NHS EED and Econlit. Eight epidemiological studies, 19 clinical burden, 2 economic impact and 0 quality of life studies were identified. The range of standardized MCL incidence rates was 0.1-1.27/100,000. Overall survival rates of patients at 3 years differed by age at diagnosis (≤65 years: 76-81%, >65 years: 46-64%) and disease stage (stage I: 73-80%, stage IV: 48-53%). Outcomes were poorer in previously treated patients, and those with later stage or blastoid disease, and improved with more recent diagnosis/treatment. Hospitalization is a major contributor to healthcare cost and differs by therapy toxicity. We identified significant data gaps for many G20 countries for epidemiology, real-world clinical, economic and humanistic burden. These literature reviews demonstrate the ongoing unmet need for MCL patients globally. Future research to further understand the real-world impact of MCL is needed along with new therapeutic options to improve patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03007995.2020.1742101DOI Listing
May 2020

Breaking through BCL-2 inhibition in CLL.

Blood 2020 03;135(10):709-711

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019004767DOI Listing
March 2020

Rituximab/bendamustine and rituximab/cytarabine induction therapy for transplant-eligible mantle cell lymphoma.

Blood Adv 2020 03;4(5):858-867

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

The addition of high-dose cytarabine to rituximab/bendamustine (RB) induction could improve outcomes for transplant-eligible patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). We conducted a pooled analysis of 2 phase 2 trials and an off-trial cohort each testing 3 cycles of RB and 3 cycles of rituximab/high-dose cytarabine (RC) followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) among untreated, transplant-eligible patients with MCL. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) led separate phase 2 trials testing sequential and alternating cycles of RB/RC, respectively. Patients treated at DFCI with sequential RB/RC off trial were retrospectively identified. Minimal residual disease (MRD) was assessed in the DFCI trial. A total of 88 patients (23 DFCI trial, 18 WUSTL trial, and 47 off trial) received RB/RC; 92% of patients completed induction, and 84% underwent planned consolidative ASCT. Grade 3 or 4 adverse events among trial patients included lymphopenia (88%), thrombocytopenia (85%), neutropenia (83%), and febrile neutropenia (15%). There were no treatment-related deaths during induction and 2 following ASCT. Among 87 response-evaluable patients, the end-of-induction overall and complete response rates were 97% and 90%, respectively. After a median follow-up of 33 months, 3-year progression-free survival and overall survival were 83% and 92%, respectively. Patients undergoing MRD testing experienced prolonged MRD negativity after ASCT with emergence of MRD occurring in only 1 patient who subsequently relapsed. RB/RC followed by ASCT achieves high rates of durable remissions in transplant-eligible patients with MCL. These trials were registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01661881 (DFCI trial) and #NCT02728531 (WUSTL trial).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019001355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7065472PMC
March 2020

Efficacy and Safety of Duvelisib Following Disease Progression on Ofatumumab in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory CLL or SLL in the DUO Crossover Extension Study.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 05 21;26(9):2096-2103. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Department of Medicine I, Division of Hematology and Hemostaseology, and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Purpose: In the phase III DUO trial, duvelisib, an oral dual PI3K-δ,γ inhibitor, demonstrated significantly improved efficacy versus ofatumumab [median (m) progression-free survival (PFS), 13.3 vs. 9.9 months (HR, 0.52; < 0.0001); overall response rate [ORR], 74% vs. 45% ( < 0.0001)], with a manageable safety profile in patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). We report results from patients with progressive disease (PD) after ofatumumab who crossed over to duvelisib in the DUO trial.

Patients And Methods: Patients with radiographically confirmed PD after ofatumumab received duvelisib 25 mg twice daily in 28-day cycles until PD, intolerance, death, or study withdrawal. The primary endpoint was ORR per investigator. Secondary endpoints included duration of response (DOR), PFS, and safety.

Results: As of December 14, 2018, 90 ofatumumab-treated patients in the DUO trial prior to crossover had an ORR of 29%, mDOR of 10.4 months, and mPFS of 9.4 months. After crossover, 77% of patients (69/90) achieved a response, with an mDOR of 14.9 months and mPFS of 15.7 months. Patients with del(17p) and/or mutations had similar outcomes [ORR, 77% (20/26); mPFS, 14.7 months]. Notably, 73% of patients (47/64) with disease previously refractory to ofatumumab achieved a response. The most frequent any-grade/grade 3/4 treatment-emergent adverse events were diarrhea (47%/23%), neutropenia (26%/23%), pyrexia (24%/4%), cutaneous reactions (23%/4%), and thrombocytopenia (10%/6%).

Conclusions: Duvelisib demonstrated high response rates with good durability and a manageable safety profile in patients with R/R CLL/SLL who progressed on ofatumumab, including patients with high-risk disease and disease previously refractory to ofatumumab.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-3061DOI Listing
May 2020

BCL-2 Inhibitors, Present and Future.

Cancer J 2019 Nov/Dec;25(6):401-409

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

The members of the B-cell leukemia/lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) family of proteins are key regulators of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway; dysregulation of this pathway leads to pathologic survival of cancer cells. B-cell leukemia/lymphoma-2 had long been viewed as a promising target for the treatment of several hematologic malignancies, specifically chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), yet for many years the development of a drug to successfully target this protein remained elusive. The approval of the BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax for relapsed/refractory del(17p) CLL in 2016 represented the culmination of decades of molecular and clinical research and has paved the way for new combination therapy regimens in CLL, including the venetoclax + rituximab regimen approved for relapsed/refractory CLL in 2018 and the venetoclax + obinutuzumab regimen approved for frontline CLL treatment in 2019. Here, we provide an overview of the mechanism of action of BCL-2 inhibition, the role of this approach in the current treatment paradigm of CLL, and an in-depth focus on the clinical trials in CLL involving venetoclax. Additionally, we review key areas of active research including the integration of minimal residual disease as a marker of clinical efficacy in current clinical trials as well as the emergence of venetoclax resistance mechanisms and potential strategies to overcome this resistance. Given the success of venetoclax in the clinical setting thus far, it is likely that BCL-2 inhibition will take on an increasingly important role in the treatment of CLL going forward.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PPO.0000000000000408DOI Listing
August 2020

Mitochondrial Reprogramming Underlies Resistance to BCL-2 Inhibition in Lymphoid Malignancies.

Cancer Cell 2019 10 19;36(4):369-384.e13. Epub 2019 Sep 19.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Dana Building, Room DA-520, Boston MA 02215-02115, USA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA; Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Mitochondrial apoptosis can be effectively targeted in lymphoid malignancies with the FDA-approved B cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) inhibitor venetoclax, but resistance to this agent is emerging. We show that venetoclax resistance in chronic lymphocytic leukemia is associated with complex clonal shifts. To identify determinants of resistance, we conducted parallel genome-scale screens of the BCL-2-driven OCI-Ly1 lymphoma cell line after venetoclax exposure along with integrated expression profiling and functional characterization of drug-resistant and engineered cell lines. We identified regulators of lymphoid transcription and cellular energy metabolism as drivers of venetoclax resistance in addition to the known involvement by BCL-2 family members, which were confirmed in patient samples. Our data support the implementation of combinatorial therapy with metabolic modulators to address venetoclax resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2019.08.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6801112PMC
October 2019