J Clin Oncol 2020 Dec 28;38(34):4042-4054. Epub 2020 Sep 28.
Royal Melbourne Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Purpose: In previous analyses of the MURANO study, fixed-duration venetoclax plus rituximab (VenR) resulted in improved progression-free survival (PFS) compared with bendamustine plus rituximab (BR) in patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). At the 4-year follow-up, we report long-term outcomes, response to subsequent therapies, and the predictive value of molecular and genetic characteristics.
Patients And Methods: Patients with CLL were randomly assigned to 2 years of venetoclax (VenR for the first six cycles) or six cycles of BR. PFS, overall survival (OS), peripheral-blood minimal residual disease (MRD) status, genomic complexity (GC), and gene mutations were assessed.
Results: Of 389 patients, 194 were assigned to VenR and 195 to BR. Four-year PFS and OS rates were higher with VenR than BR, at 57.3% and 4.6% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.19; 95% CI, 0.14 to 0.25), and 85.3% and 66.8% (HR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.65), respectively. Undetectable MRD (uMRD) at end of combination therapy (EOCT) was associated with superior PFS compared with low MRD positivity (HR, 0.50) and high MRD positivity (HR, 0.15). Patients in the VenR arm who received ibrutinib as their first therapy after progression (n = 12) had a reported response rate of 100% (10 of 10 evaluable patients); patients subsequently treated with a venetoclax-based regimen (n = 14) had a reported response rate of 55% (six of 11 evaluable patients). With VenR, the uMRD rate at end of treatment (EOT) was lower in patients with GC than in those without GC ( = .042); higher GC was associated with shorter PFS. Higher MRD positivity rates were seen with and mutations at EOCT and with , , , and mutations at EOT.
Conclusion: Efficacy benefits with fixed-duration VenR are sustained and particularly durable in patients who achieve uMRD. Salvage therapy with ibrutinib after VenR achieved high response rates. Genetic mutations and GC affected MRD rates and PFS.