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Lancet Haematol. 2019 May;6(5):e254-e265. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3026(19)30026-2. Epub 2019 Mar 29.

Polatuzumab vedotin or pinatuzumab vedotin plus rituximab in patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma: final results from a phase 2 randomised study (ROMULUS).

Author information

1
Université Lille, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Lille, EA 7365, Groupe de Recherche sur les formes Injectables et les Technologies Associées, Lille, France. Electronic address: franck.morschhauser@chru-lille.fr.
2
Sarah Cannon Research Institute and Tennessee Oncology, Nashville, TN, USA.
3
Stanford Cancer Center, Stanford, CA, USA.
4
Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada.
5
New York University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.
6
US Oncology and Compass Oncology, Vancouver, WA, USA.
7
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA.
8
Hospices Civils de Lyon, Pierre Bénite, France.
9
Centre Henri Becquerel, Rouen, France.
10
Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA.
11
Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Canada.
12
Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA.
13
Department of Medicine 3, University Hospital, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Munich, Germany.
14
Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
15
Institute of Hematology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
16
Genentech, San Francisco, CA, USA.
17
US Oncology and Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, Springfield, OR, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) polatuzumab vedotin (pola) and pinatuzumab vedotin (pina) showed clinical activity and tolerability in phase 1 trials. The aim of this multicentre, open-label, phase 2 study was to compare rituximab plus pola (R-pola) or pina (R-pina) in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.

METHODS:

In this phase 2 randomised study at 39 investigational sites in six countries, patients were randomly assigned (1:1), by use of a dynamic hierarchical randomisation scheme, to receive R-pola or R-pina (375 mg/m2 rituximab plus 2·4 mg/kg ADCs) every 21 days until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity up to 1 year. Treatment allocations were not masked to the investigator, patients or sponsor after the patients were enrolled and randomly assigned. The primary objectives were safety and tolerability, and antitumour response. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01691898, and is closed to accrual.

FINDINGS:

81 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and 42 with follicular lymphoma were recruited between Sept 27, 2012, and Oct 10, 2013, and were assigned to treatment. 81 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and 41 patients with follicular lymphoma were eligible for analysis. Of the 42 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who received R-pina, 25 (60%, 95% CI 43-74) achieved an objective response and 11 (26%, 95% CI 14-42) achieved a complete response. Of the 39 patients in this cohort who received R-pola, 21 (54%, 95% CI 37-70) achieved an objective response, and eight (21%, 95% CI 9-36) achieved a complete response. Of the 21 patients in the follicular lymphoma cohort who received R-pina, 13 (62%, 95% CI 38-82) achieved an objective response, and one (5%, 95% CI 0·1-24) achieved a complete response. Of the 20 patients in this cohort who received R-pola, 14 (70%, 95% CI 46-88) achieved an objective response, and nine (45%, 95% CI 23-68) achieved a complete response. In the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cohort, grade 3-5 adverse events occurred in 33 (79%) of 42 patients receiving R-pina (most common were neutropenia [29%] and hyperglycaemia [10%]; nine [21%] grade 5 adverse events, five of which were infection-related), and in 30 (77%) of 39 patients receiving R-pola (most common were neutropenia [23%], anaemia [8%] and diarrhoea [8%]; no grade 5 adverse events). In the follicular lymphoma cohort, grade 3-5 adverse events occurred in 13 (62%) of 21 patients receiving R-pina (most common were neutropenia [29%] and hyperglycaemia [14%]; no grade 5 adverse events) and in ten (50%) of 20 patients receiving R-pola (most common were neutropenia [15%] and diarrhoea [10%]; one grade 5 adverse event).

INTERPRETATION:

R-pina and R-pola are potential treatment options in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma. Pola was selected by the study funder for further development in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, partly because of longer durations of response than pina, and an overall benefit-risk favouring R-pola.

FUNDING:

F Hoffmann-La Roche.

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