Conference Coverage

Ibrutinib preserves immune memory while fighting cGVHD



– Ibrutinib’s effectiveness in inhibiting chronic graft versus host disease (cGVHD) may hinge in part on inhibition of pre–germinal center B cells and follicular helper cells, according to a new analysis of clinical trial data.

The analysis also showed that ibrutinib preserved immune memory and type 1 T-helper cells.

Bita Sahaf, PhD, presented results of a “comprehensive and high dimensional proteomic approach” to data from 42 patients who were enrolled in a phase 1/2 clinical trial of ibrutinib for cGVHD (NCT02195869).

In that study, 80% of patients who had two or more organs affected by cGVHD responded in at least two organs; overall, two-thirds of patients had a complete or partial response with ibrutinib. The highest response rates were seen in disease affecting the skin, mouth, and gastrointestinal tract.

The new analysis used blood samples from trial participants collected before and during ibrutinib therapy to look for soluble plasma factors known to be related to inflammation, fibrosis, and cGVHD.

“A heat map of cytokines, chemokines, and factors associated with fibrosis shows a significant decrease following ibrutinib treatment,” Dr. Sahaf said during a top abstracts session at the combined annual meetings of the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

In addition, inflammatory gene expression was reduced with ibrutinib use, with reductions in the chemokines nuclear factor kappa-B-1, CXCL10, CCL7, and CCL3 dropping by 2.6-fold, 2.3-fold, 25-fold, and 1.8-fold, respectively, after 3 months of ibrutinib therapy, Dr. Sahaf and her colleagues reported.


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