Conference Coverage

Chemo-free regimen appears viable in previously untreated FL

 

Key clinical point: Lenalidomide plus rituximab (R2) had comparable efficacy versus standard chemoimmunotherapy in patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma.

Major finding: With 37.9 months’ median follow-up, progression-free survival was “nearly identical” between the two groups, at 77% for R2 and 78% for rituximab chemotherapy (P = 0.48).

Study details: RELEVANCE, a phase 3, randomized clinical trial including 1,030 patients with previously untreated, advanced follicular lymphoma requiring treatment.

Disclosures: The study was sponsored was Celgene and the Lymphoma Academic Research Organisation. Dr. Fowler reported disclosures related to AbbVie, Celgene, Janssen, Merck, and Roche.

Source: Fowler NH et al. ASCO 2018, Abstract 7500.


 

REPORTING FROM ASCO 2018

– Lenalidomide plus rituximab (R2) had comparable efficacy versus standard chemoimmunotherapy in patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma, according to results from a phase 3 trial.

RELEVANCE is the first randomized, phase 3 trial to examine a chemotherapy-free regimen in this setting.

Response and progression-free survival (PFS) results were similar for patients who received R2 followed by rituximab maintenance and patients assigned to chemotherapy plus rituximab and rituximab maintenance, in study results presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

“These results show that lenalidomide plus rituximab, which is a novel immunomodulatory approach, is a potential first-line option for patients with follicular lymphoma that require treatment,” said investigator Nathan H. Fowler, MD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

But since the study was designed as a superiority trial, rather than a noninferiority trial, and it failed to meet its primary endpoint of superior complete remission (CR) or CR unconfirmed (CRu) at 120 weeks, said Bruce D. Cheson, MD, head of hematology at Georgetown University, Washington.

R2 had a similar PFS overall and in all major patient subgroups, similar overall survival, less nonhematologic toxicity aside from rash, less neutropenia, and fewer infections despite increased use of growth factors in the chemoimmunotherapy arm, Dr. Cheson said in a presentation commenting on the results. “Therefore, I agree with Dr. Fowler’s conclusion that R2 can be considered as an option for the front-line therapy of patients with follicular lymphoma,” Dr. Cheson said.

The RELEVANCE study included 1,030 patients (median age, 59 years) with previously untreated, advanced follicular lymphoma requiring treatment. They were randomized 1:1 to either lenalidomide plus rituximab followed by rituximab maintenance, or R-chemotherapy followed by rituximab maintenance.

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