ASCEND: Phase III, Randomized Trial of Acalabrutinib Versus Idelalisib Plus Rituximab or Bendamustine Plus Rituximab in Relapsed or Refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Paolo Ghia, Andrzej Pluta, Malgorzata Wach, Daniel Lysak, Tomas Kozak, Martin Simkovic, Polina Kaplan, Iryna Kraychok, Arpad Illes, Javier de la Serna, Sean Dolan, Phillip Campbell, Gerardo Musuraca, Abraham Jacob, Eric Avery, Jae Hoon Lee, Wei Liang, Priti Patel, Cheng Quah, Wojciech Jurczak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE: Acalabrutinib, a highly selective, potent, Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor, was evaluated in this global, multicenter, randomized, open-label, phase III study in patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

METHODS: Eligible patients, aged ≥ 18 years with R/R CLL, were randomly assigned 1:1 centrally and stratified by del(17p) status, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score, and number of prior lines of therapy. Patients received acalabrutinib monotherapy or investigator's choice (idelalisib plus rituximab [I-R] or bendamustine plus rituximab [B-R]). The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) assessed by an independent review committee (IRC) in the intent-to-treat population. Key secondary end points included IRC-assessed overall response rate, overall survival, and safety.

RESULTS: From February 21, 2017, to January 17, 2018, a total of 398 patients were assessed for eligibility; 310 patients were randomly assigned to acalabrutinib monotherapy (n = 155) or investigator's choice (n = 155; I-R, n = 119; B-R, n = 36). Patients had received a median of two prior therapies (range, 1-10). After a median follow-up of 16.1 months (range, 0.03-22.4 months), median PFS was significantly longer with acalabrutinib monotherapy (PFS not reached) compared with investigator's choice (16.5 months [95% CI, 14.0 to 17.1 months]; hazard ratio, 0.31 [95% CI, 0.20 to 0.49]; P < .0001). Estimated 12-month PFS was 88% (95% CI, 81% to 92%) for acalabrutinib and 68% (95% CI, 59% to 75%) for investigator's choice. Serious adverse events occurred in 29% of patients (n = 44 of 154) treated with acalabrutinib monotherapy, 56% (n = 66 of 118) with I-R, and 26% (n = 9 of 35) with B-R. Deaths occurred in 10% (n = 15 of 154), 11% (n = 13 of 118), and 14% (n = 5 of 35) of patients receiving acalabrutinib monotherapy, I-R, and B-R, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Acalabrutinib significantly improved PFS compared with I-R or B-R and has an acceptable safety profile in patients with R/R CLL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2849-2861
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Volume38
Issue number25
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2020

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