Ten grade 5 AEs occurred in nine DLBCL patients who received R-pina (21.4%). These events included two cases of sepsis, influenza and pneumonia in the same patient, general physical health deterioration including one death attributed to disease progression, and one case each of Clostridium difficile sepsis, respiratory failure, urosepsis, and sudden death.
There was one grade 5 AE in a FL patient who received R-pola. The 84-year-old patient died of pulmonary congestion 64 days after the last of 12 cycles of treatment.
There were no fatal AEs in the other arms.
“These findings make pola a promising novel candidate for further clinical evaluation in combination regimens in treatment-refractory patients and also in a first-line setting in B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” Dr. Morschhauser and his colleagues wrote.
Polatuzumab vedotin was chosen by the study funder for further development in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, partly because of longer durations of response, compared with pinatuzumab vedotin.
Polatuzumab vedotin is currently under investigation in the phase 3study. The drug is being combined with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and prednisone and compared to rituximab-cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) in patients with DLBCL.
The ROMULUS study was funded by F Hoffmann-La Roche. The study authors reported relationships with Roche and other companies.
SOURCE: Morschhauser F et al. Lancet Haematol. 2019 Mar 29. doi: .